Students get hands-on experience at the Observer newspaper
Scarlett Valencia Pulido
If you like writing, photography, graphic design, or page layout, you will definitely find something to do at The Observer. And, fun fact, you can work across all of them if you have various interests.
The Observer is Broward College’s bi-monthly newspaper. It gives students the opportunity to express themselves, share their thoughts, and inform students about on-campus news and events.
Former Editor-In Chief, Jesssica Kladerman, said, “There’s something so fulfilling to me about sharing stories I thought the community on a larger scale should know about.
During her time at the Observer, Kladerman wrote many articles, including one about the Seahawk Marketplace, a resource few people at Broward College know about that everyone should have access to.
Kladerman is currently working as a member of the social media response team at Chewy’, an e-commerce pet supply company. The team monitors the various social media channels the company holds and actively engages with the community as they search for customer service opportunities.
She suggests anyone interested in joining to not be afraid of getting involved. “You get what you give. You’d be absolutely shocked at the opportunities that you could have by going the extra mile. Even if you don’t see others going above and beyond, lead by example, don’t wait.”
During the newspaper’s meetings, you can see everyone on the team working together to get photos of events, give ideas for articles, and cover events that occur on campus or around the area. The Observer’s Staff belong to different campuses and some are fully online.
“It is like an internship for students who are involved. Everyone gets real world, hand-on experience, which is vital if you want a career in journalism or the media,” shared Jennifer Shapiro, the Observer’s adviser.
If you write for The Observer, you can choose the topics you wish to write about, ranging from sports to school events and news. The articles are published on the Observer’s website as well as printed out and available at each campus for other students to read.
And if layout and graphic design is more your thing, you can learn Adobe InDesign and help design the overall look of the newspaper.
There are also many opportunities to practice your photographic skills with the many events occurring at each campus throughout the year.
Shapiro has been at Broward College for the past 18 years, during which she has advised The Observer and seen many students grow and obtain internships from connections they have made while being at the newspaper.
These connections are possible thanks to the workshops that the newspaper organizes. Most Thursdays during the fall semester and spring semester, many professionals come and share details about their careers in journalism as well as the media.
Some guest speakers in the past included Brittany Wallman and Deb Wiker. Wallman is a Pulitzer Prize winner from Sun-Sentinel and Wiker writes for both Billboard Magazine and the Hollywood Reporter.
There is also an annual Journalism Boot Camp that takes place in February featuring a full day of workshops led by various media professionals. This past boot camp featured Adam Thompson from the Wall Street Journal and Observer alumni, Jossie Carbonare, a TV reporter for WPBF 25 ABC News.
Shapiro recommends college students learn as much as they can of what interests them, always making sure to showcase their work.
“The hand-on experience is priceless, and you have the opportunity to inform the College about what is going on. You also get to network with professionals in the field, and you never know what opportunities that may lead to.”
If you are interested in the Workshops or being a part of The Observer, be sure reach out to Shapiro at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.