The Alcorn State University (ASU) Student Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) held its second NABJ Lunch and Learn event on April 23rd in the Industrial Technology Building in Room 214 at 12:30 pm.
The event featured guest speaker, Therese Apel, who is a Breaking News Reporter in the Jackson Metro area. Apel’s most recent role has been the Communications Director for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, and before that, she spent 8 years at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi as a Breaking News and Crime Reporter. In just a few days, Apel will be venturing into television news as WLBT Channel 3’s newest reporter in Jackson.
During her visit to the Mass Communications Department, Apel urged students to always be vigilant. She emphasized the importance of being diverse and well-rounded in the Communications industry. She shared several personal stories that helped shape her career in the industry. She talked about how she used social media in a heat-of-the-moment crime scene and how that affected her reporting. She also touched on how a journalist should portray him/herself online and the dangers that go with that.
Aerial Robinson, a Junior Mass Communications major shared her thoughts on the Lunch and Learn session by stating, “I learned that it is good to go across the medium when it comes to finding your niche.” Robinson adds that Apel’s journey of branching out into different aspects of journalism really motivated her to be more open to explore different options in the field. Robinson said, “I asked her about what she did when she reached her lowest point, because sometimes when you’re young you feel as though you’ve hit some very low points… she was able to give some great pointers about working hard.”
Apel is a frequent speaker to Alcorn’s Mass Communications Department as she often attends the annual Media Day program. “It is always a joy to visit the Department. The students here are so serious about their careers. They actually want to learn and grow,” stated Apel. She urged students to, “know what you want in your career, but don’t be afraid to let it take you places that you never knew you wanted to go. If you know a little about newspapers, a little about radio, a little about TV, you can build a brand that is so marketable across the board.”