In an effort to support high school journalists in the Syosset-Jericho area, the Tribune proudly yields space to the passionate young scribes from JerEcho, Jericho High School’s award-winning online newspaper. Following is the students first contribution to the Syosset-Jericho Tribune.
On Friday, Jan. 9, editor-in-chief of Anton Media Group Liza Burby visited Jericho High School’s New Media Communications classes to teach aspiring journalists what she has learned throughout her more than three-decade-long career in journalism. Burby began her career as a professional journalist at the age of 17 and hasn’t stopped working since.
Burby graduated from St. John’s University with a degree in journalism. Ironically, her first job out of college was as an editor of a tennis magazine, although she had never taken a sports journalism course. Burby advised the students, “Never say never. Be open to new experiences. Be willing to write about everything, even if you think you don’t want to. In fact, write about what you don’t want to.”
The JerEcho New Media Communications students learned that in order to be a successful journalist it is essential to be “organized, a self-starter, and have the desire to learn.” Burby is a self-described “positive person,” and urged all of the students to use rejection, which is inevitable in the field of journalism, as motivation for future success. Burby said, “When I was in college, they didn’t fully teach the business aspect of journalism. However, to be fully successful in this field today, you need to have good marketing skills in addition to good writing skills.”
Editor-in-chief of The JerEcho Taylor Kang shared her thoughts on Burby’s visit, “I was really impressed by Ms. Burby. Too often students are discouraged from pursuing journalism and other forms of publication, but I think Ms. Burby’s career demonstrates that these fields are actually ripe for the picking. There will always be room for improvement and innovation in journalism, and I’m so excited to see any future collaborations between the JerEcho and the Syosset-Jericho Tribune.” Additionally, New Media Communications teacher and advisor of The JerEcho, Suzanne Valenza, offered her opinion of the event. She said, “Ms. Burby is a testament to all young people that they can make a good living on their own terms and in a field about which they are passionate.”
In parting, Liza Burby said to The JerEcho members, “Believe in this career and the journalism field. If you are a good writer, a hard worker, and seize as many opportunities as possible, you can be a successful journalist. The term journalist encompasses a lot of things. Everything I’ve done has led to the next job, and I am suited for my job because of all my past experiences. You have to be a compassionate person to be a journalist. We [journalists] are human beings. What we do can change people’s lives for the better or for the worse. I’ve enjoyed this process and my career has just been fun.”
The JerEcho is thankful to have taken part in this experience and hopes to maintain future relations with the exceptionally talented and enlightening Burby.