Pulitzer Prize winner, LIU Post alumnus and reporter at the New York Post Josh Margolin gave a lecture as a part of the Media Arts Department’s Food for Thought Lecture Series on Thursday, February 16th, during the Common Hour. He discussed his journeys as a journalist and the different situations he encountered on his voyage toward the position that he holds today as a reporter for the New York Post.
Margolin attended Post from 1988-1992 as a Journalism major and was the Editor of The Pioneer. During the lecture, he spoke about his internship with Newsday. “A big story would break, and they knew I was willing to go out and get stories,” he said. He was a single guy with a car, and they realized that, so Newsday would send him out.
He went on to stress the importance of deadlines and abiding by them, saying that it’s not about how smart you are, but, rather, about getting the facts of your story and having your piece in by deadline.
Margolin was determined to make his mark within the journalism field. After graduating from Post, he sent out 145 resumes all over the country. He received three interviews and one job offer, joking that the job offer he received was from the tenth largest newspaper in New Mexico. He stayed there for about six months. After time progressed and he made a couple of moves because of different job offers, Margolin settled in New Jersey for 12 years, writing for the Newark Star Ledger.
After taking some questions from students and realizing he had lost track of the original question, Margolin explained to students the importance of remembering their original questions. He cautioned them to avoid getting caught up in what someone is telling you, as it is all too easy to do. Therefore, he said journalists should always keep the original question in the back of their heads and refer back to it.
Margolin concluded the talk with advice for journalism students who are planning to enter the field. He talked about using every tool that you have. He mentioned that you should have a tape recorder and even went as far as to say that it is “essential” because it allows for more eye contact during an interview versus looking down at a notepad the whole time. He talked about remembering your job, which is to get the story. Always keep pens, pencils and a note pad on you, he also reminded students. “A bad day for other people is a good story for us,” he joked.
Mekelia Channer, a senior Psychology major, attended the lecture and finds comfort in stories that each speaker tells about working with different people. She says this gives her an insight as to what things may be like when she enters the working field. She found it helpful when Margolin talked about always being ready for a story. “Just be prepared with everything, whether it’s pencils, pens or a phone because, as a journalist, anything could happen,” said Channer.
Victoria Esteve, a junior Journalism major, said how she enjoyed the lecture. “I think the lecture gave a good insight on what future career possibilities might be waiting for you outside of Post. It also gives you insight on how your career could look like. You always need to be prepared because this isn’t a regular 9-5 job,” she said. Esteve has attended most of the Food for Thought Lecture Series events that are sponsored by the Media Arts Department. “I like how each lecture has had a different vibe to it,” Esteve said.
The Media Arts Department will hold its next Food for Thought lecture on Thursday, March 1st, at 12:45 p.m. in Humanities Hall. The guest speaker is Mercedes Vizcaino, the photography editor for All You Magazine/Time Inc.