By Matt Allinson, Media Relations Manager, Int’l Markets
Business Wire is pleased to contribute to a journalism scholarship awarded to University of Washington journalism student LaVendrick Smith during the Society of Professional Journalists (Region 10) awards gala on Saturday, June 13. Mr. Smith, an Everett, WA native and a senior at the University of Washington, was one of four students who were collectively awarded over $10,000 in scholarship funds.
Mr. Smith spent last term covering the Washington state legislature as an intern for the News Tribune and The Olympian. During his time on staff, he wrote about a wide array of bills, one of which would have required young drivers to place “New Driver” decals on the back windows of their vehicles. He also wrote about House Bill 1021, one that would require the Washington State Patrol to create and implement a system similar to Amber Alerts (called Silver Alerts) for lost senior citizens. He also works on The Daily at the University of Washington and wrote for the Seattle Times in autumn of 2014.
I had a chance to sit down with Mr. Smith after he received his scholarship and ask him a few things about the journalism profession, his life, and what he would do if he were the first person with verifiable proof that Bigfoot exists.
1) Who or what inspired you to study journalism and pursue it as a career?
I’ve always been interested in writing ever since I was a kid, but in high school, a security guard I knew at my school read my work and really encouraged me to pursue journalism because he said I could be really talented at it.
2) How can you and your generation of journalists help to change the negative impression most people have of the industry?
I think the best way to change negative impressions people have of the industry is to make sure people are doing their jobs the right way. Many people have a mistrust of the media, when the role of the media is to foster and maintain trust. If journalists uphold the values and ethics that are central to journalism, I believe people will have a better understanding of the industry.
3) Where would you like to be in eight years?
I would love to be working at a major daily newspaper covering a major U.S. city.
4) What are you doing this summer?
This summer, I’m spending my vacation in Boston, and resting up for my senior year of college.
5) If you were somehow able to capture the first verified photo/video of a Sasquatch, where would you publish it first?
I’d want it to be in TIME magazine because I always like their covers, but anywhere where I can always have credit of being the first person to ever capture the Sasquatch.
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