What I Hope to Learn as an EAW Digital Reporter and How I Got Here

Hello! My name is Joycelyn Cabrera and I am Education at Work’s new Digital Reporter for Arizona.

EAW Student Employee
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By Joycelyn Cabrera, EAW Student Digital Reporter

Hello! My name is Joycelyn Cabrera and I am Education at Work’s new Digital Reporter for Arizona. This role as a student reporter is an opportunity I have been waiting for my entire college career. I’m a sophomore studying journalism at Arizona State University. Specifically, I am majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications with an emphasis on Digital Media Studies, and  minoring in Digital Audiences at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU. I know, it’s a mouthful.

I started working with EAW last year at their Downtown Phoenix site as a call center agent. As a Digital Reporter, I’ve switched from a call center world to a storytelling one. My job is essentially going to be reporting on all the students who work with EAW and the events that take place as part of ASU/EAW’s student life.

I’ve been a reporter for three years, beginning with an internship my senior year of high school. I interned at a local paper that year. My freshman year of college was filled with learning and writing. I wrote articles and have since done freelance work for local outlets in the Phoenix area, including ASU’s State Press and Ahwatukee Foothills News.

As a sophomore, I got a part-time job with InMaricopa.com and I continued to work at EAW. During orientation, I was told all about how EAW has opportunities for so many career paths, including journalism.

After learning about the various opportunities for journalism and other communications majors, I continually asked about what might be available in the future and made it known that I was interested in the digital reporting role because it was a chance for me to gain more experience working in mass communications and social media engagement. I worked at EAW as a Student Supervisor and waited for an opportunity to open up, and six months later, I met Berenice, the previous Arizona Digital Reporter at EAW.

Eventually, I was finally able to apply to this role I’d heard so much about, and here I am! Now I just actually have to do it (I didn’t think I’d get this far).

For as much experience in the news industry that I have, pitching is probably the bane of my existence. I’ve always been not-so-great at coming up with my own story ideas, let alone pitching them so they get approved by an editor.

I see this is an opportunity to fix that. Given my experience with EAW and the tightness of the community here in Arizona, I am so happy to say I’ve already come up with a list of pitches to pursue! I definitely want to keep this up and get even better.

There are a lot of things I know how to do, but there’s still a lot of skills I want to sharpen and continue to work on. I can write an article, but I want to tell people’s stories. I can shoot video, but I want to learn about content production and multimedia. I can measure engagement data, but I want to boost the engagement of everything I cover.

One of the things I am very excited to work on is the Student Spotlights and Success Stories. Every student who works for EAW has a unique story. It’s always such a great feeling to be able to tell that story in a way that accurately portrays the person.

In the future, I want to join my peers in participating in a remote professional program with the Cronkite school, where student reporters experience the 24-hours news cycle in a busy newsroom. The Washington D.C. Bureau or Los Angeles Bureau are programs I have my eye on as a digital media reporter. Beyond that, digital media production (producing written work online with multimedia content) is where I see myself in the future.

I can’t thank Mike Bober and Sabrina Fawley enough for giving me the opportunity I’ve waited so long for, something that fills a graduation requirement for the Cronkite school, and something that’s going to help me so much as I continue on my journey as a reporter.

And of course, I can’t thank Berenice enough for telling me all about this job she wanted me to apply for once spring semester starts. EAW has been a great organization for me throughout my entire college career and I can’t wait for it to continue on with me.