A Passion for Media and Journalism
Marz Anderson here! I’m a senior Journalism major here at Kent State in the School of Media and Journalism. I’ll walk the stage December of 2022 and I can say that Kent State is preparing me for a phenomenal career in media. For me, that could look like working for a radio station, a local news station or, one day, a national entertainment company. Dream big!
I chose this program because of how the student media partners, Black Squirrel Radio (BSR) and TV2, presented themselves. They had social media presence and they had live programming that I could access. I was inspired by all the students I witnessed working toward their goals. I was attending Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) and I knew I didn’t want to move far away from home, and I needed the university to be affordable. I wasn’t going to settle for just any journalism program, though.
Kent just seemed to have everything I needed, and I knew once I got here, I would immediately get started. And I did!
Following graduation from Tri-C and transferring to Kent State in spring of 2021, applications and auditions came around for TV2 and BSR. A notable thing to mention is that this is in the middle of the pandemic. I didn’t really have formal media training at that time beyond Zoom calls and first-day introductions to systems. However, the skills I’ve learned growing up and experience from community college prepared me to take on anything. During my time with TV2, I’ve been a multimedia journalist (or reporter), the Wednesday weather anchor, a segment anchor and producer of the Wednesday 30-minute newscast. For Black Squirrel Radio, I became a marketing coordinator, director and have hosted my own radio show called “Sense.”
Currently, I am the general manager of Black Squirrel Radio while still hosting my show. In addition, I serve as a student ambassador for the College of Communication and Information, and a tour guide for the admissions office. There are many opportunities within student media, yes, but it takes determination to figure out your direction. For myself, I knew I could work in-front of or behind the camera and I also wanted to showcase the stories of minorities like myself, but I think I can tell any story. I’ve learned so many skills that make me a worthy contender in the media industry.
I’m a producer, anchor, reporter, digital content creator, radio personality, board operator, graphic designer, marketer, promoter and a public relations expert.
I have a love for music, and a love for broadcast and news. I could really take my career anywhere. I’m looking for radio and news jobs currently and I was a news intern during summer 2022 at WKYC studios in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Because of TV2, I know what it takes to produce a newscast. Not to mention, I’m pretty good at social media, which has led to many opportunities and having the personality for broadcast helps. My work speaks for itself.
I was recently awarded the Dr. Aileen Thong Memorial Scholarship for the John S. Knight Foundation and the Akron Press Club. It’s an honor to be recognized, and this year, as the only person of color. It’s validation of my commitment to my education and growth in my skill set, while showcasing who I am. It motivates me to continue improving because if I thought no one was watching, maybe someone is and maybe it’s helping someone, or maybe it could.
The College of Communication and Information was able to send me to the National Association of Black Journalists Multimedia Short Course at North Carolina A&T. I was able to work with more students of color than I ever have in a journalistic setting. We made a 30-minute newscast and I felt knowledgeable in every aspect of the course. I also took home new skills, made new friends, and it confirmed this is the profession for me and I will continue to work until I reach my goals.
During the short course, I got an email letting me know that I placed top 20 in the nation for the Hearst Journalism TV News Competition.
The feeling I get from winning is knowing that I am on the right track. I think we’re all no one to someone, but in my profession and industry, it sets me up as a journalist to watch. It’s like the beginning of my legacy and lets me know my future is bright. That is the most important thing to me as I reach my final semester and begin to interview for jobs. I want to always do my best work and I want to make sure someone enjoys or engages with it.
Kent State has helped so much because I often think to myself, “Slow down!” Learning technical skills has been a driving force but remembering to not rush my progression and to take the time needed to get the job done. I want to do great work and that requires being paced. There is a standard of things journalists must make sure do to. Additionally, there is a certain appeal and ownership I need when storytelling. I’m working to accomplish all of this.
Kent State has helped show that a leader has always been inside me.
I’m calling the shots, I’m successfully running a team, I’m doing great work and I know my superiors are proud. My plan has always been the same: I want to be a broadcaster and Kent State has helped me stay on track and challenged me as a person. My biggest advice to anyone is, don’t find yourself in places you don’t need to be but get out of your comfort zone. Another piece of advice is, let your passions lead the way while doing your work. What things don’t you know, what are things that people should know? Think of how amazing it’s going to be doing that career and what you will bring to the table. All these things will help you be successful.
Any high school seniors considering this program or Kent State, find people who think like you. Find people who challenge you. When choosing courses, take ones that add to your skills or challenge, or even confirm your beliefs. You want to leave here with a feeling of change, not just as a professional in your field because once you get here and get to work, like me, you are a journalist, you are all the things you do.
However, you want to feel personally changed, leaving with new and different perspectives. Having an empathy for what works in the world and what doesn’t, then going out and seeking change in any way that you can, in whatever profession you choose because there is always a way. I think life is about making the experience good for everyone, to do something good while you’re here. That’s what college is about. It’s wonderful to do things with purpose and being noticed for your hard work, and dedication is darn good, too.