Erika Aguilar; KUT: Radio News.

News is immediate. News is unpredictable.

And today the news affected the Radio News panel, Tuesday, Oct. 21, for Mass Communications week at Texas State University. Robert Wood of the Texas State Network was unable to attend the Radio news panel because of breaking news that was happening in Austin involving a death row inmate and a Texas senator.

Fortunately, Texas State University alumna Erika Aguilar took charge of the panel and told students of her path so far in journalism and gave some valuable advice to students who will be making their debut in the “real world” soon.

Aguilar, who graduated May 2007, works for KUT radio, the NPR affiliate in Austin. But before Aguilar was covering the environmental beat for KUT she was at news director at Texas State’s own radio station, KTSW.
“I actually have to thank KTSW for where I am today,” she said.

From there Aguilar completed an internship at KUT and reported at SXSW in Austin. But before she could officially make radio her home she had to try out another interest of hers: television news. Aguilar worked for KXAN in Austin and found that she was still missing her first love, radio.

“In TV you can show them with pictures. In print you can show them with words but radio is more intimate. It involves your voice. Radio is the happy medium between TV and print,” she said.

One aspect that Aguilar found was not different between the field of television news and radio was the fact that media convergence was something you couldn’t ignore. Now Aguilar is sent out to cover news stories with a digital camera in hand and required to take at least one picture. Once she’s done creating her story for radio she must post her story and pictures on the Web.

“If you can learn anything about the Web it will be very valuable in the future. Embrace the Web,” she said.

Aguilar also had some advice for college students who will be soon graduating and are unsure on how to tackle the media industry.

“You need to take college as your on-site training. When you get there no one will train you. And you’ve got to be able to work the shifts no one else wants to. I worked the 12 a.m. to 8 a.m. shift for radio then I would have class at 9:30,” she said.

Aguilar’s next big career goal: a medical doctor. But until then check out Erika Aguilar at KUT or on 90.5 FM.

By Lesley Ornelas
Photos by Ashleigh Mangum

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