Panelists stress importance of creativity for Mass Comm students

By Joe Teagle

A talented panel featuring two recent Texas State University graduates discussed the importance of being creative as aspiring journalists during Mass Comm Week.

The panelists preparing for the Q&A session
The panelists preparing for the Q&A session. From left: Meg Turner, Roosterteeth; Annie Werner, Tumblr; Kolten Parker, San Antonio Express-News;  Trei Brundett, Vox Media; Dr. Cindy Royal, moderator.

The four panelists work in different verticals, but all use creativity to advance their careers. Trei Brundett (@clockwerks), a programmer for Vox Media, uses creativity as a medium for learning. “Creativity isn’t always about making things; it’s about learning things,” Brundett said. Trei also emphasized showing your creativity by having online content to show employers.

The way I learn is by making.” – Trei Brundett

Kolten Parker (@koltenparker), digital news editor for San Antonio Express News, says he is continuously coming up with creative ways to present the news. “I’m creative about how I find stories,” Parker said. As a former Texas State student, Parker shared valuable insight with students in attendance. “Being proactive is half the battle,” Parker said. “Before I took Cindy Royal’s class, I didn’t even have a twitter account. Now I tweet 10 times per day, or more.”

Annie Werner, managing editor and product specialist at Tumblr, believes being creative is essential to her job. “I’m being paid to brainstorm,” Werner said. She built her foundation while in college, and she attributed many of her skills to working on her student newspaper.

Make your own internet” – Annie Werner

Meg Turney (@megturney), Internet personality and co-host for Rooster Teeth, lived up to her comedic reputation by keeping the audience entertained. Regarding creativity, Turner said she finds ways to make the news fun, without being disrespectful. Turner emphasized the importance of being genuine. “Being a relatable person is something you can’t fake,” Turney said. Her advice is to make personal connections, and show people the content you create. “The future is people,” Turney said.

I wanted to find a way to talk about videogames for a living.” – Meg Turney

Cindy Royal, the panel moderator, also had useful advice for the many students in attendance. “You need to make connections,” Royal said. “If you are saying interesting things and making good connections, you will find a job.”

Joe Teagle is a senior at Texas State University.

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