Former New York Times Editor Speaks at RU

Thalmus Thomas
February 08th 2010

Communications Week here at Radford University gave students the opportunity to soak up as much knowledge as they can from experts in the field. It started on Monday, Feb. 1 when former Ad Man of the Year, Doug Burford, gave a speech on how to use advertising to do good for others.

Communications Week then turned its focus to journalism on Tuesday, Feb. 2. Students were graced by the presence of Walter F. Rugaber Jr The former editor of the New York Times in Washington delivered a speech on the future of communication.

In today’s society, digital media continues to grow. More and more publications are going online. Blogging Web sites are popping are becoming more popular, allowing ordinary citizens to become journalists.

Rugaber spoke about how newspapers are starting to lose that brand new smell they once had to the Internet. When something newsworthy happens, people tend to use the internet rather than reading the newspaper. With a digital medium like the Internet, one doesn’t have to wait to get news. One click of the mouse is all it takes to find out what’s going on in the world.

He also talked about people getting news for free vs. paying for it. People can’t read the newspaper for free, but with the Internet, you don’t have to worry about that, especially with Web sites like Twitter and Facebook that have the capability to deliver breaking-news stories.

Rugaber also stressed three points to students on how to be good journalists.

First, be skeptical of everything. This means that one should always check the information they receive. If the most credible of all sources gives someone information, make sure it’s 100 percent correct.

Second, get the facts right. Make sure all of the statistics and the spelling of a person’s name is correct, because if there’s one tiny slip-up, the whole story and credibility is lost.

And lastly, develop an intense curiosity about everything. This means that a journalist should try to dig deeper on the stories they are writing about. Try to have that one question that stands out from the rest. Go the extra mile with the person who is being interviewed.

The future of communication looks digitized. The news is delivered quickly, and just about anybody can be a reporter. Rugaber, like many in the journalism profession, understands the way news gets delivered is changing.


New Department Launches Communication Week

Thalmus Thomas

February 01st 2010

Article Also in Tartan

Radford University’s School of Communication is hosting its first Communication Week from Monday, Feb. 1 to Friday, Feb. 5.

Established July of 2008, the School of Communication showcases what it has to offer to students who want to further their careers in the field.

“As a new school, we want to show who we are,” said School of Communication Director Dr. Lynn Zoch.

For being a fairly new department the school hopes to get as much exposure as possible.

During Communication Week, established professionals from different media will lecture to students about a variety of topics spanning from the state of communication in our society to how significant media is to our everyday lives. For each concentration within the School of Communication, there will be a guest speaker sharing his or her insight on the profession.

“I’m very excited to have these people speak to our students,” Zoch said. “They’re very good people.”

The first of the many speakers is Doug Buford on Feb 1. Buford is a former “Ad Man of the Year” and member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. He supports advertising for a good cause and helped children in underdeveloped countries for 17 years. His lecture to students focuses mainly on doing good works and helping others.

Walter F. Rugaber Jr. talked to students on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 3:30 p.m. Rugaber serves on RU’s Board of Visitors and discussed with students about the future of journalism. Early in his career, he covered various topics, including civil rights issues and prison scandals. He also an editor at The New York Times in Washington, D.C., and publisher of the Roanoke Times.

Wednesday, Feb. 3 is highlighted by Mike Herman. He’ll talk about the importance of Public Relations in Managing Global Change at 3 p.m. In 2009, Herman received the Golden Anvil Award, which is one of the industry’s highest honors. He recieved it for his life’s work, including being an industry representative at the United Nation’s Headquarters.

When Thursday Feb. 4 rolls around, RU students will hear from Craig Etheridge at 12:30 p.m, who is the vice president for mobile and international media sales for The Weather Channel Media Solutions. He’ll be talking about the future of interactive media. Etheridge worked for for more than a decade.

Communication Week comes to a close on Friday, Feb. 5 with a few RU alumni talking about their job hunting and career experiences starting at 10 a.m. Those alumni are Dawn Eischen, VDOT Public Relations Manager, and John Jackson, Virginia Tech Web Communications Director. Alumni Teaching Day, along with other RU Homecoming activities are also held on this day.


You’ve stumbled unto Thalmus Thomas’ WordPress page. Please take your shoes off before entering. I’m currently a student at Radford University majoring in journalism. Here you’ll find a collection of articles I’ve written. Some of them will be for school, and some will be sport related.