By Zoe Norris
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Megan Smith has found that getting experience in multiple areas of journalism will help you in the long run.
Smith is a 27-year-old multimedia journalist from Orlando, Florida. Smith works as video journalist at the Omaha World-Herald. She graduated from the University of Alabama in 2012 with a degree in journalism, and a focus in photography. She started off her career in journalism with multiple internships and landed a job at The Jackson Sun, which is in Jackson, Tennessee.
Smith got to try a little bit of everything at The Jackson Sun. The paper was small, so she learned a lot. She tried her hand in writing, photography, video journalism, sports and breaking news. She also worked on some personal projects at the same time.
While she was on the staff at The Jackson Sun, Smith worked on one of the most interesting stories of her career.
Every year, The Jackson Sun does a Brighter Christmas fundraiser. The Brighter Christmas fundraiser helps local families in need. In 2014, Smith worked on a Brighter Christmas story that covered a mom who had cancer and was given only ten months to live. Smith took the photos and video for the story. In the interview, the mom said how much she loved country singer Martina McBride and wanted to meet her. The Jackson Sun reached out to McBride and made it happen. Smith found that it is not all about breaking the big stories, but about the ones that make you feel good.
Smith made the jump to the Omaha World-Herald after working at The Jackson Sun. She started working at the Omaha World-Herald in August 2015. She said she wanted to work at the Omaha World-Herald because it has a good reputation and a good staff.
“I could focus on projects and put a lot more thought and effort into an assignment here,” Smith said.
Smith said every day at the Omaha World-Herald is different.
She is on a flex schedule in the fall and on-call most of the time. During the fall, she works on football stories and videos for Husker football games, which takes up a large part of her day.
Using social media plays a big role in her job and everyday life, she said.
“I use social media every day. Even if I am not working, I will still tweet the biggest story that day,” Smith said, in a phone interview.
Smith said she is part of the “new generation of journalism," meaning tweeting and getting articles and photos online takes precedent over print.
Smith uses her personal social media accounts such as Twitter to tweet news from the Omaha World-Herald and retweet articles from other news outlets.
Smith works on personal projects when she has the time. She has her own website, blog and multiple social media accounts. She often posts her work on social media.
Smith said she learned valuable journalism skills, such as reporting, while working at a smaller newspaper. She said the journalism skills she got at The Jackson Sun got her to where she is today.
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