Media alumni find success in field

SUU has primed many of its communications alumni to leave the Thunderbird nest and work successfully in the mass media industry as journalists and broadcasters across the nation.

Richie Steadman, SUU alumnus, is now the program manager for X96 Radio from Hell Morning Show, said SUU gave him the experience he needed to be successful in the radio industry.

“(It provided) hands on experience and opportunity to success but also to fail,” he said.

Steadman described feeling at home at SUU. He said he felt the faculty wanted him to succeed and that he would if he learned from their instruction.

After a successful internship with X96, which Steadman achieved through a connection he made at SUU, he began working with the radio station.

“The faculty taught me the importance of getting into the real world and learning from those who make what I want to do their profession,” he said.

Josh Smith, a journalism alumnus, works as a staff reporter for the National Journal in Washington D.C. As a reporter, he writes for a weekly magazine, a daily publication, a website and a blog.

Smith said there are great teachers at SUU that taught him a lot, but it was his time at the University Journal that prepared him for his current position.

“It was as reporter and editor in student media that I really learned the trade,” he said. “Writing, reporting and putting out a newspaper, a website and TV clips trains you in a real-world way that classes alone never can.”

As a student journalist, Smith said he learned to find sources, deal with people in positions of authority, search for documents, be accurate and meet deadlines.

“What student journalists do isn’t fake,” he said.

The thing Smith liked the most about attending SUU was the freedom to pursue what he wanted.

Smith said current students should take advantage of what SUU has to offer.

“Enjoy the small classes and close relationships with the teachers,” he said. “It’s something that stays with you.”

Ashley Langston worked for the University Journal during her time at SUU and is currently the Managing Editor at Iron County Today.

As editor Langston decides what goes in the paper, writes stories, takes pictures, edits and helps the designer with layout.

Langston began her career just before her final semester at SUU. She applied as a copy editor at the Cedar City Review; she was called in for two interviews and was informed the editor had just resigned and Langston was asked to be the replacement.

“I didn’t think I could do it,”she said. “But I figured it out as I went along.”

After the Cedar City Review closed in 2009, the Iron County Today was created and Langston was brought on as the managing editor.

She said her classes at SUU taught her how to write and her time at the journal gave her real world experience.

“My experience working with the other journalists at the (University) Journal was probably what most prepared me for this job,” she said.


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