Tag 5 Things

Live Chat with NPPA President Sean Elliot

Sunday night, time to talk … we’ll be having a live chat with Sean Elliot, the current president of the National Press Photographers Association for student members here at 9 p.m. You can join in below as we talk about the organization, its mission and what it offers to students who are passionate about visual storytelling.

Elliot is the Chief Photographer at The Day in New London, Conn., where he’s worked nearly since graduating from Boston University some 20 years ago. His service to the NPPA has included stints as regional director, secretary and vice president – he’s about as committed to this group as one can get.

For those wishing to join in, you’ll be able to post questions at the bottom of the window. Please use your name followed by what school you’re at. So, for me, it would be, “Mark E. Johnson, UGA” – that will give us an idea of who people are. All queries will go into moderation this time around and the best ones will be posted for the president to respond to.

If you can’t be here at 9, no problem – the conversation will be archived for later review.



Billy Weeks, director of graphics and photography at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, joined the Multimedia Journalism class this week to talk about what they’re doing and where this is all heading.

He got the “five things all graduating journalists should know” question and answered thusly:

  1. Report — Journalism is all about connecting with subjects, the media doesn’t matter. Young students are afraid to ask questions — don’t be.
  2. Be able to handle audio
  3. Be able to handle still photos, especially strobes
  4. Be able to handle video
  5. Team Work — Share ideas, communicate with your co-workers


I try to bring as many guests into my classroom as possible. For starters, this is an excellent way to decrease the amount of time I need to prepare for any given class … I kid, of course.

In reality, I bring folks in to offer up different perspectives, to help flush out something that I’ve discussed or to add new knowledge that I don’t have to share. The last few folks have all been asked the same question towards the end of their discussions, and I’m going to start sharing those answers with all of you because today’s was just simply amazing.

Mandrallius Robinson from the Greenville (S.C.) News was with my Multimedia Journalism class this afternoon. Robinson, a six-year veteran of the News, was “volunteered” last spring to go through Gannett’s video training. He has quickly become a rising star, putting together two sports “shows” every week for the paper.

The question: What five things must every newly-graduated journalist know?

  1. Have an open mind
  2. Precision – be careful in your choice of words, avoid clichés
  3. Pay attention to co-workers – they can help
  4. Find a way to keep your drive
  5. Journalism is a service

An excellent list, I thought.