The Modern Media Conference is a regional college media conference open to the public and hosted annually at Georgia State University. The event touches on relevant subjects for students majoring in journalism, public relations, film and design through various media. Similar to the wide-range of speakers who spoke at the conference last year, this year did not fall short with guest speakers such as Monica Pearson and Dr. Colleen McEdwards from mainstream news stations and university alum with pointers for upcoming graduates. All panelists were more than willing to share their success stories and give advice to students pursuing careers in media. The two-day conference was free for GSU students, so many took advantage of the tips provided by professionals actively working in their field.
The conference began Friday morning, Sept. 27, with Monica Pearson from Channel 2 Action News in Atlanta.
Pearson was the first minority woman to anchor the 6 p.m. news in the Atlanta area and anchored for over 30 years before her recent retirement in 2012. She spoke about her struggles in the field of journalism and how she overcame the obstacles that challenged her in the beginning of her career. At the time she began working with Channel 2 Action News in Atlanta, journalism was a field mainly occupied by men. Pearson discussed the harsh feedback she received and told students, “It’s tough, but you have to disregard the negative comments and not let it affect you.” She said doors have opened for people of all types due to the advance in technology. Although Pearson had a rough start, she retired with over 30 Emmy awards, an inaugural Nathanial Goldston Leadership Award and the Distinguished Service to Broadcasting Award. “I was really surprised to hear that someone as well-respected as Monica Pearson had a difficult time adjusting to her career, but it makes me feel better that the key to success is simply to work hard and keeping your eye on the prize. She clearly did, now look how far she’s come,” said Thomas Kohanpour, a journalism student and attendee of the conference.
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