J-week highlighted professionals who are ‘changing the game’
Published: Friday, April 8, 2011
Updated: Friday, April 8, 2011 00:04
Wall Street Journal reporter Pulitzer Prize winner Daniel Gilbert said he was one of seven reporters at the Bristol Herald Courier in Bristol, Va., last year.
"A year ago, I was covering an Easter egg hunt," Gilbert said.
After doing an investigative reporting story about $25 million in natural gas royalties that was owed to citizens of Virginia, he was awarded the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and is now a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.
Gilbert was one of five speakers at West Virginia University's Journalism Week 2011, hosted by the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism. He spoke to students Wednesday night about his experiences.
"I found an important story, and I told it," he said. "If the story is good enough, people will read it and act on it."
He said even if he hadn't won any awards and had just written the investigative story, he would have been happy with the three years he spent at the Courier.
Gilbert, sponsored by the Ogden Newspapers Seminar Series, gave parting advice to students at the lecture.
He said having a mentor is important, and students should find professors or other journalists and ask them questions and develop relationships.
"The longer I've spent in journalism, the harder it is to think about doing anything else," Gilbert said.
The J-Week events ran from Monday through Thursday, with class or public lectures on each of the days. This year's theme was "Game Changers Under 40."
Wendy Harman, director of social media for the American Red Cross, gave two in-class lectures about social media in Martin Hall on Monday.
Harman was recently named to the 2010 NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50 list.
Talia Mark, the manager of diversity affairs for NASCAR, also gave two in-class lectures about changing the face of NASCAR on Tuesday afternoon.
Mark was the youngest panel participant to date on "The Good Life: Exploring Non-Traditional Career Opportunities" at the 100th Anniversary of the NAACP's Youth Conference.
David "DigiDave" Cohn, an online journalist and blogger, gave a public lecture on citizen-funded journalism Tuesday evening.
Cohn has written for The New York Times, Wired, Seed and the Columbia Journalism Review.
A WVU alumni and cameraman for NBC News, Andrew Scritchfield, gave two in-class presentations on Thursday afternoon.