By Marah J. Morrison
Gary Brode, a 2012 Youngstown State University telecommunications alumnus, came to speak with students, faculty and community members about the field of journalism on Oct. 12 in Bliss Hall.
Brode has worked for The Jambar, WFMJ, KXMC (North Dakota), WCIA (Illinois), ABC7 (Florida) and KZVN. He is currently working at CBS Boston (WBZ) as a reporter and has worked as an anchor, producer and morning show host.
Brode said it’s important that people know YSU can be and is a great journalism school.
He recalled when experienced journalists visited his classes and said he gained a lot from it.
“It’s important to show that the alumni can help and will help if a student is really willing to put in that work,” he said.
Brode said time management can be challenging for students aspiring to be in the journalists. He also mentioned the struggle students face keeping up with studying, working and extracurriculars in order to advance their career.
“As you’re about to go on into your career, finding that first job in journalism is so important,” he said. “That’s why it’s so necessary to get that reel and that resume built up.”
Brode said getting a first job in the journalism field lays the groundwork for someone’s entire career, and he and his girlfriend are always moving constantly because of their careers in journalism.
“It’s stressful,” he said. “There’s no way around it, especially when you’re six months out from your contract and you just don’t know where you’re going to live.”
Brode said in most cases if a person wants to advance his or her career in journalism, they will need to move around.
“If you have a family already and you want to stay, that’s okay,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with that, but just know that you’re going to have to put [your] career first if you’re going to establish yourself as a journalist.”
Brode said the best part of being a journalist is meeting new people and the thrill of being on live television. The people he meets impacts his life more than they may realize.
“It’s great to see how so many people from so many walks of life actually live,” he said.
Brode said so much can go wrong while on live television, but when it all comes together, it’s a euphoric feeling.
He told the audience that the first time he anchored, he turned bright red and his hands didn’t stop shaking, but then realized that he could do it.
Natasha Verma, Brode’s girlfriend and also a reporter for NBC-10 Boston, said she was happy to be in Youngstown to support him.
Verma said she loves inspiring future journalists and educating them about what the industry is like now because when she was a student, she loved hearing from industry professionals during the time.
“It’s always important to come back and talk to the next generation,” she said.
Verma said as a journalist, she loves to give people a voice. She said journalists get to keep others in power accountable for their actions and she thinks that’s a great privilege to have.