Journalism week features alumni, reminds of the fields importance

By Katelyn Massarelli

The Student Press Law Center (SPLC) named 2019 the “Year of the Student Journalist” along with the Freedom Forum Institute and the Newseum. Time Magazine named the Guardians Person of the Year as they fight the war on truth.

Meanwhile, journalists continue to fight for the freedom to report and hold those accountable for corruption. The journalism program at UT will host the first Journalism Week from March 26-29 to bring back alumni who have graduated from the program.

As a student journalist who will enter the field in a few short months, I encourage fellow classmates to attend and support ethical journalism.

The alumni coming to talk during Journalism week include Alejandro Romero, former multimedia editor for The Minaret and current multimedia journalist (MMJ) for the Suncoast News Network. Other alumni include Megan Myers, reporter with WMBB News 13 in Panama City and Tess Sheets, former Editor-in-Chief of The Minaret and current breaking news reporter for the Orlando Sentinel.

The program will also welcome back Selene San Felice, former production editor of The Minaret and Capital Gazette reporter, as a keynote speaker.

It’s easy to forget how local journalism can affect our daily lives. Just over the past few months, we’ve seen the Tampa Bay Times release reports on John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital that brought to light an alarming death rate in its patients. That doesn’t even sum up the in-depth reporting the staff does on a daily basis.

Reporting starts locally in documenting issues faced throughout the community and reporting on the unique things that impact it.

Recognize those journalists that strive for fairness and accuracy. The field is far from perfect, as it evolves to fit the needs of their audience in this digital era. It requires a 24 hour news cycle that keeps the audience informed on the stories that affect them.

I want to reach out to the campus at large to pick up our weekly issues of The Minaret and follow us online on social media. Many of our staffers and editors keep the UT community  updated on a weekly basis about the work they are doing each week.

I encourage readers to reach out to us on how we can best improve our coverage of UT and Tampa. Tell us what we are doing right and wrong. Tell us how you feel and give us a chance to respond.

We want to hear from you because at the end of the day, it’s all about the readers. We will try our best to follow through on your requests and always lend an ear and listen to what you have to say.

Every story we report is done with the interest of UT’s campus in mind. We, like any professional newsroom, make it our due diligence to bring you ethical and true journalism.  

Help us, help you. All we ask in return is for your support going forward.

Katelyn Massarelli can be reached at

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