Thursday, October 24, 2013

Acclaimed author speaks at mass communication week

By Anthony Monroe
Writing for Mass Media Student
SAN MARCOSRobert Kolker, contributing editor at New York magazine, spoke at a news conference providing students with a glimpse of the working world of a journalist and author.

Kolker kicked off Mass Communication Week Monday sharing a bit about his background and how he got his start as a journalist. Kolker said while in college he was not interested in reporting or doing hard news stories.

After graduating from Columbia University New York in 1991, Kolker said he worked various jobs for seven years until he started at New York magazine. His work ranged from non-profit secretary, to assistant at a movie company, to political event planner.

During this period Kolker said, “I realized that all I wanted to do was write for (a) publication.” He suddenly dropped everything and began applying for writing jobs in print.

Kolker said it was challenging to find work, but eventually started writing articles that helped medical students choose their residency programs.

“It was very satisfying and it gave me a lot of confidence,” Kolker said.

Eventually he began working for a local newspaper on the west side of Manhattan. For over a year he covered everything from social services to real-estate, until he felt he had gained enough credentials.

“If you have newspaper experience what you’re demonstrating to anyone in any field, whether it’s public relations or television, is that you know how to make things happen accurately,” Kolker said.

Some of the students that attended the speech found some of Kolker’s advice and experiences helpful.

“I liked that he talked at length regarding his personal background,” said Jesse Witt, a junior advertising major. “His background really showed me that nonprofit work can help get a job down the line.”

Nicholas Stout, a junior advertising major, also appreciated hearing about Kolker’s early career experience.

“It made me realize the importance of gaining a wide palette of experience,” said Stout.

For more information on Mass Communication Week speakers and schedule, visit

Robert Kolker-
Jesse Witt-
Nicholas Stout-

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