Cavan Kinne / Full360 Digital Media Producer
ABC 6’s very own Trish Hartman came to DelVal to talk to media students about her work. Her story and give overall advice on the field of broadcasting and reporting.
About finding her first job upon graduating she said, “You have to be willing to move around, I remember applying everywhere, all over the country.”
Hartman is a Bucks County native. For her, the goal was to always get back home. She studied at the University of Maryland, College Park, Later graduating with a degree in journalism.
Hartman landed one of her first jobs as a photographer for KRTV In Great Falls Montana. From there her career path grew clearer, ultimately accomplishing her goal of making it back home to produce media and report for ABC 6 Action news.
Hartman had plenty of advice for students looking to take on a similar career path as they are just starting out.
“Start with what you love. Do you love producing videos/social media content? Do you love telling stories? Do you love asking questions and finding out things no one else knows? Figure out your passion and find an outlet to practice.”
Hartman also stressed the importance of a mentor.
“A mentor who can point you in the right direction will be immensely helpful. I had so many in high school and college, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”
When it comes to the golden rules of journalism and reporting, there’s a ton, but Hartman took the time to lay some important ones out for the students of Delval.
1. “Be accurate and thorough.”
2. “Remember who is truly affected by the story. Don’t just provide information. Give context and explain the impact.”
3. “Remember you are a human first and a journalist second. There will be some hard days in news. You make dozens (hundreds?) of small decisions every day. It’s really easy to pick apart every single one, to wonder why you got beat by the competition or wonder why you were turned down for an interview. Maybe you got the interview, and it was emotionally draining.
4. Act with integrity, make decisions you can stand behind, and ask for help when you need it. Do those things and you’ll win the day every time.”
All these rules are great guidelines for a student or young professional diving into their newly found careers or areas of study.
But Hartman spoke about the importance of integrating yourself within these communities and stories.
“Becoming part of the community you cover as a journalist is crucial. It’s the best way to really understand the issues people want and need you to cover.” As crucial as some stories may seem though, safety always comes first she said. “Unfortunately, as journalists, we also have to keep our guard up and recognize when we are entering a situation as an outsider. While I sometimes work alone, I judge every story on a case-by-case basis. There are certain stories (mainly crime) that I won’t cover alone. As a station, we are also very safety conscious, especially when covering crime. We keep in almost constant communication with producers and assignment editors back at the station, and if we ever feel unsafe while covering a story we relocate.”