Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Chris Gardner gave the keynote at the Spring 2024 Commencement.
Class of 2024 Graduates With ‘Permission to Dream’
Anna Holstein, Staff Reporter • April 29, 2024
View All
Griffin Miller tallied four strikeouts in four innings.
Ragin' Cajuns Ravage the Herd
Ben Cower, Student Repoter • April 24, 2024
View All
Walk For Hope Flyer

Courtesy of Phi Alpha
Walk for Hope to Shine Light on Suicide Prevention
Baylee Parsons, Copy Editor • April 19, 2024
View All
The Parthenon on Twitter
Chris Gardner
Spring Commencement to Feature Inspiring Speaker
Sarah Davis, News Editor • April 23, 2024
View All
Check won the javelin throw with a distance of 36.26 meters.
Track and Field Trounce James Madison Invitational
Wade Sullivan, Student Reporter • April 20, 2024
View All
Peter Canellos speaks on the life of Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan.
Amicus Curiae Focuses on Harlan
Sarah Davis, News Editor • April 18, 2024
View All
The Parthenon on Twitter

Alys Smith Symposium Features Female Journalists

Marshall+First+Lady+Alys+Smith+introduced+six+female+journalists+for+her+fourth+namesake+symposium.
Victoria Ware
Marshall First Lady Alys Smith introduced six female journalists for her fourth namesake symposium.

Women in journalism face a unique struggle when trying to balance work and life, the keynote speaker said at the fourth Alys Smith Symposium on Women Professionals on Wednesday, April 10.

“One really tough part of my career was becoming a mom,” said Susan Nicholas, WSAZ anchor and W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications Hall of Fame member. “It’s the best experience, but it also reevaluates your work life.”

“You do whatever it takes to be that working journalist and that working mom,” she added.

This symposium highlighted women in journalism through a panel discussion with local journalists including Nicholas, WSAZ anchor Sarah Sager; WKEE radio host Jennifer Seay Ashford; freelance writer Amanda Larch; marketing advisor Tiara Brown and investigative reporter Amelia Knisely. 

Story continues below advertisement

Prior to the panel, Nicholas’ address explored the history of women in journalism and at WSAZ. She pointed out the lack of women in the newsroom in photos from the 1950s and contrasted them with there being more women than men in the newsroom today. 

“There are more opportunities,” Nicholas said. “We see more female sportscasters. We see more meteorologists that are females, whereas—even a decade ago—we didn’t see that.”

Of the six panelists, four graduated from Marshall and revisited their alma mater to share advice with students who now sit in the seats they once filled. Each panelist answered questions regarding their own field as well as questions about journalism in general.

Sager addressed the pressure for female journalists to meet certain beauty standards.

“Most of the time, if I do get a critique, it’s about what I’m wearing, what I look like, what my hair looks like, being compared to other women,” Sager said, “and oftentimes, it’s by women, unfortunately.”

“Appearance for TV – obviously, it plays a factor,” she said. “You have to try to look professional, have a professional haircut, but it’s not everything.”

Amidst remarks about appearance, covering traumatic stories and encountering dangerous situations while still having familial duties, female journalists must learn to take care of themselves, Knisely said.

“Don’t wait until you have to balance all the things and diapers and all that,” she said. “It’s a hard job. You take in a lot of trauma, and you carry that for other people, and it’s an honor to do that, but you have to take care of yourself, too.”

2020 graduates Larch and Brown highlighted the panel members’ openness to versatility on a daily basis.

“I’m so thankful I get to do what I love every day,” Larch said, “and I also love that every day looks a little different. I think I work better in an environment that’s not stagnant, and I think we could all agree on that.”

“We’re all chameleons; I think that’s the wonderful thing about journalism,” Brown said.

The panelists expressed the necessity for journalism in society and for aspiring journalists to feel passionate about their work. 

“I think that journalism is the most important career that you could have,” Ashford said. “In order to get to the truth—in order to find out what’s really going on in our world—you need journalists.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Parthenon
$85
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will help continue the work of independent student journalism at Marshall University. If you benefit from The Parthenon's free content, please consider making a donation.

More to Discover
Donate to The Parthenon
$85
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Parthenon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *