Pulitzer Prize winner and adjunct professor at Stanford University, R.B. Brenner, pulled from an array of experience while speaking to the Society of Professional Journalists at last week’s meeting. In his condensed, hour-long speech, Brenner emphasized one overriding principle: experience.
Whether gaining varied experience in a wide range of media outlets, absorbing the words of a well-respected reporter or learning from fellow journalists, Brenner stated it is all vital to becoming a better journalist.
“Start publications and organizations, engage in publication writing, go out there and do journalism,” Brenner said.
He advised Scripps students to enter into internships with an open mind and great attitude, to truly engage themselves in their work and to never take on a self-serving attitude. Brenner further emphasized the intrinsic value of internships and gaining out-of-the-classroom experience.
Brenner even spurred a sigh of relief among the Scripps students after he stated that though the economy is shaky, mass hiring still exists and interns are becoming increasingly valuable.
In addition to internship experience, Brenner repeatedly stressed the ability to adapt to the changing face of the industry. He shared his own tactics as a professor at Stanford University where he prefers to switch between a teaching setting and a newsroom setting. He claimed it allows him to better teach journalism when he stays continually up-to-date.