Robert Kolker discusses visual storytelling at Mass Comm Week

Robert Kolker speaks at Mass Comm Week

By Reynaldo Leanos Jr.

Robert Kolker, investigative journalist, writer for New York Magazine and author of Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery, discussed elements of visual storytelling on Monday as part of Mass Communication Week.

Kolker talked about the struggles he faced visually when he published his article about the Long Island Serial Killer in New York Magazine. He and his editors did not know what would go on the cover, but he knew he wanted it to be powerful.

“What can a magazine do to add value?” asked Kolker.

Kolker said he wanted to depict the family members of the victims in a way that you would not be able to find in the New York Times, Washington Post or other major newspapers.

The same struggle arose when trying to decide what the cover of his book “Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery” would be.

‘Lost Girls’ follows the lives of five women who were murdered by the Long Island serial killer, who remains at large. “They never knew each other, but they all went through the same thing,” said Kolker.

One of his main goals was to tell this story in a way that humanizes the victims, regardless of their occupation, which was prostitution.

Robert Kolker, investigative journalist, sits down for
one on one time and gives advice to
aspiring journalists. 
After discussing the problems he faced visually when working on the article and his book, Kolker then talked about his career in journalism and answered any questions the audience had.

Kolker also attended a lunch, where a few Texas State students were able to attend. The students had the opportunity to have one on one time with him and asked whatever they desired. He also gave advice to aspiring journalists.

“I think it’s important to try and put yourself in situations where you’re challenged and where you’re learning something. Professional development is something that really important. Those opportunities are hard to find and when you find them don’t let them go, especially when you’re young, when you’re in your 20’s, you can really learn and grow and develop quickly,” said Kolker.

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