Robert Kolker, contributing editor for New York Magazine and author of “Lost Girls,” kicked off Mass Communication Week at Texas State University on Monday.
The investigative journalist promoted his new book, “Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery,” and spoke to students about his journey to becoming the magazine writer and author he is today.
During his presentation, Kolker provided students with professional advice regarding success in the competitive field of journalism.
“Not everybody needs a journalism school graduate degree to get somewhere in their career,” Kolker said. “If you can do the work and you can demonstrate you can do it then people will give you more work.”
True to his word, Kolker started off as a history major at Columbia University and has now been working at New York Magazine for the past 15 years.
“At some point I sort of stood up, almost two years out of college, and realized what I really wanted to do was write for publication,” Kolker said.
Little did he know at the time that an article he'd write for New York Magazine in 2011 would develop into a book about two years later.
“Lost Girls” is a true crime and social issues book that focuses on the lives of five New York prostitutes whose bodies were found beside a highway near Gilgo Beach.
“Talking to family and friends, (Kolker) pieces together their lives, looking at the societal forces that led all five to end up as escorts,” said Tina Jordan, Editor at Large for Entertainment Weekly. “The result is vivid and moving: These women had families, passions, plans, interests, children.”
Not only did critics rave about Kolker’s book, but students at Texas State also expressed positive reviews toward the unsolved American mystery.
"The struggles of some of the women in his book definitely had an emotional impact on me," said Daniela Echeverria, education major of San Marcos. "Kolker did a great job exploring a part of society that a lot of people don't know about."
For a full list of this year's Mass Communication Week events, click here.