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Zack Baddorf

Fellow Photos from Military Veterans in Journalism 2021 Fellowships

Fellowship Program – Meet Our Fellows 2021

By Resources

Military Veterans in Journalism is hosting seven paid fellowships lasting about six months each. These fellowships allow our members to build portfolios of journalistic work and form a network of peers. All of this year’s fellows have already been placed in the newsrooms of their choice.

 

Before we introduce this year’s fellows, we would like to thank our funders who help make this possible. Four of our fellowships are thanks to generous support from the Knight Foundation, two are thanks to generous support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and the last is thanks to generous support from the Wyncote Foundation.

Without further ado, here are our seven fellows for 2021.

The Knight Foundation – Military Veterans in Journalism Fellowship program

Noelle Wiehe, Coffee or Die Magazine

Noelle is an Army veteran and the first responder/military beat for Coffee or Die Magazine.

“I’m so excited to join the team and contribute content to this organization. To be a part of Coffee or Die is an excellent step in my career and one that I know will take me to new heights. To anyone considering a fellowship, you don’t have to work those tiny bottom-of-the-totem-pole jobs, MVJ can help you get your foot in the door of where you want to be. I’m so thankful I am a part of this community.” – Noelle Wiehe

 

Drew Lawrence, CNN

Drew is an Army veteran who is passionate about soldier and veteran mental health care. He is MVJ’s operations manager and podcast co-host of Sword & Pen. Drew has been placed with CNN, as part of their News Associate Program and Jake Tapper’s The Lead. He will be doing script writing, teleprompter operations, graphics, and research.

“Over the last month, I have had the honor of working with some of the best in media at CNN because of the MVJ Fellowship. The anchors, reporters, operations team and tech managers have all been incredibly welcoming and I’m grateful to learn from their collective expertise.” – Drew Lawrence

 

Melissa Martens, Philadelphia Magazine

U.S. Marine Corps veteran Melissa Martens has been placed with Philadelphia Magazine and will be producing digital content.

“I am feeling great about this fellowship opportunity and ready to hit the ground with Philly Magazine working with the digital marketing team on creating content for their blog and managing social media. For those considering the fellowship, it is a sure way to gain valuable experience, develop new skills, and push you outside your comfort zone to explore new opportunities.” – Melissa Martens

 

Brandon Wheeldon, Military Times

Brandon served in the U.S. Army as an infantryman. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Student Leadership Cohort and is pursuing his Bachelors of Arts in Journalism with a minor in Anthropology. He has been placed with Military Times as a Military Editor Fellow.

“So far in my fellowship, I have been learning the ropes with social media layouts, site management regarding the data and stats for stories, social media management, story layout and writing, and reviewing stories posted to see how they’re performing. The fellowship has allowed me to learn how newsroom and social media works behind the scenes by using programs like socialflow, parse.ly, AP Newsroom, DVIDS, Sailthru, canva, and many other programs. The fellowship will help build a solid foundation for understanding the inner workings of the newsroom and the outside operations of the newsroom. MVJ has helped me tremendously grow as a journalism student and journalist.” – Brandon Wheeldon

 

The Newmark-Veterans in Journalism Fellowship Program

Tim Lenard, The Nevada Independent

Meet military veteran Tim Lenard, who is building the video department from scratch at The Nevada Independent.

“The flexibility of the MVJ fellowship is allowing me to take a chance on creating something that I desperately want to see in the world: local video news aimed at an internet audience. The project is ambitious and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about how it will all turn out, but I’m humbled I was given the opportunity to try. If you have a desire to see something and the work ethic to make it happen, the MVJ fellowship is a fantastic opportunity.” – Tim Lenard 

 

Alonzo Clark, CNN

Alonzo is an Army veteran who completed his bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. He’s since worked as a reporter, news anchor, illustrator, and photojournalist. Alonzo has been placed with CNN as part of their News Associate Program.

“My gratitude towards the Military Veterans in Journalism network is unmeasurable. It’s an exciting feeling to know my hard work is recognized as a good cause to work as a news associate at CNN.

So far, I’ve completed my third day as a fellow, and I’ve gained knowledge on how news production works on a national level. From learning several news softwares, setting up accounts, and meeting new faces, I can say my experience is bound to be a fun rollercoaster full of spontaneity. I am 100% confident the experience will lead me to a level of growth professionally and personally.” – Alonzo Clark 

 

The Wyncote Foundation-Military Veterans in Journalism Fellowship program

Thomas Hengge, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Thomas is an Army veteran who has recently completed a Master of Arts in Journalism from NYU. He has done documentary photography and video journalism work, covering breaking news and producing long-form photography and video projects like his ongoing series “Left Behind,” documenting families in the aftermath of losing a loved one to COVID-19. Thomas was awarded a 2020 Editor and Publisher “EPPY” Award for best photojournalism for a college website. He has been placed with The Philadelphia Inquirer as a photographer.

“I am beyond grateful I was selected for the MVJ fellowship. It has given me a vehicle to do exactly what I want to do, and that is priceless. There aren’t a lot, if any, veteran specific resources in this industry, so to have MVJ in our corner is incredible. I think any veteran thinking of pursuing an MVJ fellowship for next year absolutely should. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain.” – Thomas Hengge 

In addition to our funders, we would like to thank CNN, Philadelphia Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Nevada Independent, Military Times, and Coffee and Die Magazine for taking these vets in, and giving them a chance to jumpstart their careers in media.

 

How to Help Veterans Overcome Addiction

By Resources

BlueCrest Recovery’s mission is to provide every client with individualized treatment while reinforcing the importance of 12-step recovery and educating them on its principles. Through genuine clinical relationships using the best treatment practices available, BlueCrest’s goal is for clients to leave with the foundation needed for long-term, meaningful recovery.

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MVJ Executive Director: The Success of Our First Convention is Our Unity

By Resources

Open Letter from MVJ Executive Director Zack Baddorf

MVJ Community,

First of all, thank you.

Military Veterans in Journalism would be nothing without you — our members, our supporters, our teammates. We were honored that about 350 people showed up to attend our first annual convention. We’ve heard from many of you that you enjoyed hearing directly from Jake Tapper and Brianna Keilar at CNN, Jeff Jarvis at CUNY, Sara Shahiri at INN, and many others in the media world who shared their insight and knowledge with us. The DAV Career Fair and Knight Foundation Happy Hour were also big hits.

This convention was the culmination of about two years of work serving the veteran community. A range of news outlets, non-profit organizations, educational institutions and philanthropic organizations came together in a show of support (and sponsorship!) for our organization and our mission to get more vets in news. It was truly humbling to see the manifestation of our work on the virtual stage throughout our two-day convention.

My co-founder Russell Midori and I founded MVJ in 2019 thinking we’d basically meet up with some fellow vets in a bar and swap business cards. But the need is so much more than that. It’s been truly awe inspiring to see a range of partners step up to help support our community.

While the convention was going on, I was in Dallas taking part in the fifth and final session of the non-partisan George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Veteran Leadership Program. I was honored to have been selected for this program to hear from a variety of high-level professionals, educators, and experts in veteran and military family transition issues.

Throughout the program, I and the other veteran leaders met with President Bush and Mrs. Bush as well as retired U.S. Marine Corps general Jim Mattis and Deborah Birx. Hearing from a range of speakers and from my fellow vets left me inspired to do more for the MVJ community.

We’ve accomplished a lot in these past few years and we have much more on the horizon. I am truly grateful for the Bush Center’s belief in me — which, more than anything, is about their belief in Military Veterans in Journalism.

My biggest takeaway from the leadership program was realizing just how much we can accomplish together. Our convention — the first of many to come — demonstrated that to me in action. Seeing all of our amazing partners share their knowledge and unite behind our cause made me immensely proud to be part of this organization.

Again, thank you. Together, we are growing our community and creating opportunities for our members. Our shared energy and focus will help us accomplish our mission of getting more vets in news.

Sincerely,
Zack Baddorf
Executive Director, Military Veterans in Journalism

The Newmark-Military Veterans in Journalism Fellowship Program

By Career Opportunities, News

Two military veterans will be awarded nine-month fellowships in nonprofit newsrooms after graduating with master’s degrees in journalism from the City University of New York (CUNY), thanks to a grant awarded by Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

The Newmark Veterans in Journalism Fellowship Program is a partnership between Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ), the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

MVJ and Newmark J-School will recruit veterans to attend the school’s 16-month M.A. in Journalism, M.A. in Engagement Journalism or M.A. in Journalism with a bilingual concentration.

The veterans will be hired by newsrooms that are members of INN — a national network of nonprofit, nonpartisan news organizations. The fellowships will allow these individuals to build portfolios of journalistic work and form a network of peers.

Applications for the program open in the Fall of 2021, and those veterans selected will start attending the program starting in the Fall of 2022.

 

Any veteran that wishes to apply for this Fellowship, please fill the form to send your inquiry. You can use the following link:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1zEhwMJ0xQ9Ue5HzZPv8tBtzZ6NbTdwWpHSpvxIcPyV4/edit?usp=sharing

About Military Veterans in Journalism

Military Veterans in Journalism is a professional association that builds community for vets, supports their career growth, and advocates for diversifying newsrooms through hiring and promoting more vets. Learn more at www.mvj.network

About the Institute for Nonprofit News

The Institute for Nonprofit News strengthens and supports 300 independent news organizations in a new kind of media network: nonprofit, nonpartisan and dedicated to public service. From local news to in-depth reporting on pressing global issues, INN’s members tell stories that otherwise would go untold – connecting communities, holding the powerful accountable and strengthening democracy. Learn more at inn.org.

About the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY

The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, founded in 2006, has become nationally recognized for its innovative programs. The only public graduate journalism school in the northeastern U.S., it prepares students from diverse economic, racial, and cultural backgrounds to produce high-quality journalism. As the profession rapidly reinvents itself for the digital age, the Newmark J-School is at the forefront of equipping the next generation of journalists with the tools to find stories and tell them effectively – using print, broadcast, visual, interactive, and social media. The school offers two master’s degree programs: a Master of Arts in Journalism and the nation’s first M.A. in Engagement Journalism. We also feature an M.A. in Journalism with a unique bilingual (Spanish and English) component. All of our master’s degree programs include a paid summer internship.

American University professor teaches investigative skills at #MVJ2021

By News, Resources

by J.P. Lawrence

Think “investigative” was the mission that award-winning reporter Chris Halsne gave to veterans and troops working or interested in journalism.

Halsne, a professor at American University, provided the advice in a webinar in the final hour of the Military Veterans in Journalism’s inaugural convention on Oct. 21.

The investigative journalist spoke to attendees about how to acquire government-held public records, the kind of evidence that is the bread and butter of investigative journalism.

“In 30-plus years running broadcast investigative news,” Halsne said, “I can’t think of many blockbuster, award-winning stories that changed laws and how the community saw certain things that didn’t start with a good public records request.”

Conducting investigations is different from reporting breaking news, said Halsne, who managed special-projects units in Seattle, Denver, and Oklahoma City and has won three National Press Club awards.

If there were to be a disaster, a breaking news reporter would report on the events of the day, but investigative reports get to take a step back and take a look at the larger picture and take accountability for who was at fault. “Were there any warning signs to prevent what happened?” Halsne said.

Halsne shared the results of his investigation on how bullet-proof vests worn by police failed to protect their wearers. During three decades in television, he also completed investigations across different subjects such as the collateral damage of a government program to poison booby traps to kill coyotes, and the dark side of sports.

“Investigative reporters are vacuum cleaners,” Halsne said. “You gather what’s there; nine times out of ten, it’s nothing. The one time it is, you dig your teeth into it.”

Attendees of the online webinar included veterans and servicemembers at various levels of experience in journalism. Allison Erickson, a writer and a former Army officer, said she joined the webinar for industry insight on how investigative reporters are used in the newsroom.

“When do you run or request reports? Is it clockwork?” were questions she said she was interested in.

Halsne said he regularly requests information from the various levels of government and has probably filed about 10,000 queries. He also shared his tips about the correct time to speak to an organization about an investigation that’s being done on them, how to handle hostile public information officers, and how to structure Freedom of Information Act requests.

“It’s super helpful to better understand the processes for records requests,” said Dan Lyons, a photo editor at Chalkbeat, a nonprofit newsroom that focuses on education. He said he also thought it was helpful to learn tips like using official letterheads for FOIA requests to give them more legitimacy.

The webinar capped off the inaugural MVJ convention. The two-day event included videos and panels by Jake Tapper and Brianna Marie Keilar from CNN, Kelly Kennedy from the War Horse, Xanthe Scharff from the Fuller Project, and Paul Szoldra from Task and Purpose.

Google demos free new digital journalism resources at #MVJ2021

By Resources

by Allison P. Erickson

Journalists learned to use the latest digital resources from the Google News Initiative during the MVJ 2021 Convention. Mary Nahorniak, teaching fellow with the Google News Lab program, highlighted search modification, viewing, and support tools. 

Google News Lab, with its mission to “to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to drive innovation in news,” uses the Alphabet Inc. subsidary’s behemoth search, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning technologies to power a resource platform packed with relevant news industry research tools. “All the tools are free, all the trainings are free. This is Google’s effort to support and connect with journalists,” Nahorniak said. 

Nahorniak covered five specialized search engines: Google Scholar, Dataset Search, Public Data, The Common Knowledge Project, and Fact Check Explore. For each tool, Nahnorniak framed the tool’s specific usefulness in the process of story development or refinement. 

For example, she described Google Scholar as a great place to begin background research, as the tool essentially searches through two sets of material. The results usually return a starting point to find experts with nuanced perspectives on topics. 

With Public Data, researchers can search for existing datasets from other organizations and begin to grasp the larger picture of a story.

““Every data point is a story. These are all people behind this,” Nahorniak said, referencing a graphic comparing two data sets. “[When you are] starting to wrap your arms around a concept, this a great place to do it from a data perspective…I love that site for a little bit of backgrounding.”

She demonstrated advanced search tools like searching a specific file type intended to help save researchers time and effort. Stars and Stripes Middle East Reporter J.P. Lawrence said, “I’m most interested in using Google to find military powerpoints used in training. I know a lot of data is conveyed via powerpoints.” 

Nahorniak taught attendees to use Fact Check Explore to get a sense for information being shared in an area. In the cases of misinformation, journalists may feel compelled to write a clarification for the record, and Fact Check Explore helps winnow the wheat from the chaff. 

Nahorniak also trained the group on Pinpoint, a tool for identifying information buried in a document or set of documents. The tool includes an audio transcription service reporters can use to convert audio from interviews into searchable text. 

““Let the tool do the heavy lifting so that you can spend your time and energy on the things that only you can do, writing, creating, interviewing, searching for stories, searching for angles,” Nahorniak said.

After a hands-on demonstration with the Google Earth Timelapse feature, which Nahorniak described as adding the fourth dimension of time to data, participants came away with ideas to grab military-adjacent visual shapers. One participant suggested using the tool to view growth around military bases over time.  

The tools are free and accessible both through the Google News Initiative Training Center and through other resources shared by Nahorniak. Reporters will need to request access to Pinpoint.

Two military vets to be award 9-month fellowships in nonprofit newsrooms

By News

NEW YORK – Two military veterans will be awarded nine-month fellowships in nonprofit newsrooms after graduating with master’s degrees in journalism from the City University of New York (CUNY), thanks to a grant awarded by Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

The Newmark Veterans in Journalism Fellowship Program is a partnership between Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ), the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

“Veterans are vastly under-represented in journalism despite our nation being at war for more than 20 years,” said Zack Baddorf, a Navy veteran turned journalist who is now MVJ’s executive director. “This partnership creates a unique opportunity for two military vets to get a jump start into the news world where their lived experience and expertise are desperately needed.”

MVJ and Newmark J-School will recruit veterans to attend the school’s 16-month M.A. in Journalism, M.A. in Engagement Journalism or M.A. in Journalism with a bilingual concentration.

“We’re proud to ensure that our school represents the diversity of our nation,” said Jeff Jarvis, director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism and the J-School’s Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism Innovation.. “Once they graduate, we know they will bring their perspective to diversify the outlook of newsrooms, letting veterans’ voices be heard.”

The veterans will be hired by newsrooms that are members of INN — a national network of nonprofit, nonpartisan news organizations. The fellowships will allow these individuals tol build portfolios of journalistic work and form a network of peers.

“Nonprofit news is a growing and mission-oriented field,” said Sara Shahriari, director of leadership and talent development at INN. “This fellowships program strengthens our member newsrooms’ ability to provide nuanced coverage of military and veterans affairs while also launching veterans into a new phase of their careers: public service journalism.”

Craig Newmark Philanthropies has previously provided support to MVJ in partnership with the Poynter Institute with a fellowship program and online educational training.

“Veterans working in the media have unique life experiences and skills that strengthen our media,” said Craig Newmark, founder and customer service representative of Craig Newmark Philanthropies and craigslist. “Our democracy will ultimately be strengthened by having more vets in our nation’s newsrooms.”

MVJ will also hold a five-day workshop as part of this partnership.

Applications for the program open in the Fall of 2021, and those veterans selected will start attending the program starting in the Fall of 2022.

About Military Veterans in Journalism

Military Veterans in Journalism is a professional association that builds community for vets, supports their career growth, and advocates for diversifying newsrooms through hiring and promoting more vets. Learn more at www.mvj.network

About the Institute for Nonprofit News

The Institute for Nonprofit News strengthens and supports 300 independent news organizations in a new kind of media network: nonprofit, nonpartisan and dedicated to public service. From local news to in-depth reporting on pressing global issues, INN’s members tell stories that otherwise would go untold – connecting communities, holding the powerful accountable and strengthening democracy. Learn more at inn.org.

About the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY

The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, founded in 2006, has become nationally recognized for its innovative programs. The only public graduate journalism school in the northeastern U.S., it prepares students from diverse economic, racial, and cultural backgrounds to produce high-quality journalism. As the profession rapidly reinvents itself for the digital age, the Newmark J-School is at the forefront of equipping the next generation of journalists with the tools to find stories and tell them effectively – using print, broadcast, visual, interactive, and social media. The school offers two master’s degree programs: a Master of Arts in Journalism and the nation’s first M.A. in Engagement Journalism. We also feature an M.A. in Journalism with a unique bilingual (Spanish and English) component. All of our master’s degree programs include a paid summer internship.

Nonprofit newsrooms put focus on mission, impact

By News, Resources

by Genaro J. Prieto

The Nonprofit News Panel on Day 2 of the Military Veterans in Journalism convention presented a discussion on why nonprofit news matters for communities and the nation as a whole. 

Sarah Shahriari, the Director of Leadership and Talent Development at Institute for Nonprofit News, opened the discussion by describing innovation and community engagement tools employed by the 350 non-profit and non-partisan news organizations INN supports. 

“INN members are really working to convey the truth, to build community ties, and to inform people in their communities so they can make decisions about their own lives and about their civic life,” Shahriari said. 

Xanthe Scharff, the CEO and Cofounder of The Fuller Project – a global newsroom centered on women, said the mission-focused nature of nonprofit news sets it apart in the types of journalists it attracts and the way outcomes are measured. 

“When I got into non-profit space I already had a bias for this sort of work…this mission work,” said Sherman Gillums, who sits on the board of the veteran-focused non-profit newsroom, “The War Horse.” Gillums said he was driven by the work of “Speaking truth to power…and making the public a part of it.”

The panel unanimously echoed the importance of truth and accountability, and the need to give a voice to those who typically are overlooked. Nonprofit news is especially valuable for its ability to impact issues through telling the story and capturing the moment.

The War Horse Managing Editor Kelly Kennedy said her reporting and leadership has been intended to bring light to the needs and perspectives of soldiers on the ground. “When things were going down in Kabul we thought about how it felt for the veterans to be processing it right now, and we ran a series of reflections every day that week from people just talking about how it felt. And it was a way to process the story and to deal with the trauma of it.” 

Sherman said, “We are going to keep doing this.  We are going to keep pressing truth as a friend to the public.”

Kelly offered insights for attendees about building their portfolio of clips, taking initiative, and suggested veterans can use the Warhorse reflections series as a starting point. She said, “You can’t wait for someone to make you an investigative reporter. You can’t do that. You have to become the investigative reporter.”

One audience member asked “would you say it is easier to enter nonprofit journalism as opposed to traditional journalism?” 

Regardless of a journalist’s military experience, whether reporting in combat or down the street, the nonprofit sector of journalism has its unique qualities. But ultimately the passion for telling the story truthfully and accurately is essential, and the work gives reporters the power to influence positive change and give voice to groups without wide representation.

The highest value of nonprofit news seems to be it’s power to tell the stories of those that might otherwise be forgotten. 

CUNY’s Jeff Jarvis shares insights into the new models of journalism

By Resources

by Kayleigh Casto

Military Veterans in Journalism continued its virtual convention Friday with a second day of panelists. Sharing insights into the new models of journalism was Jeff Jarvis, a CUNY Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism professor.

“Journalism is not a product, it’s a service,” he said. “We don’t just create a product called content to sell in a thing we call a publication. We have so many more tools at hand to listen to communities that have too long not been listened to, like veterans.”

Jarvis explained how communities became overlooked in journalism through the invention of high-speed printing presses during the era of Johanne Gutenburg, which created the idea of “mass media, mass marketing and mass culture.”

“The mass as an idea is fundamentally an insult to the public, because it says that everybody is all the same,” he said.

According to Jarvis, reporters have a unique opportunity to reinvent the field of journalism by understanding the needs of these underserved communities.

“Who are you serving? Who is it that needs your service of journalism? What do they need? Show the evidence of their definition of community. Show the evidence of their need as a community,” he said.

Reporters can help to foster the needs of these communities by introducing new perspectives in the newsroom, educating the community or facilitating informed public conversations. All of which promote what Jarvis called “a large canvas” for the future of journalism.

The session itself became a public conversation, with audience members offering ideas about models of journalism, and questioning Jeff directly.

Dan Lyons, a photo editor at Chalkbeat asked Jarvis about how local news models should engage with communities who are underserved or unserved by any news outlet

Jarvis pointed to the Institute for Nonprofit News and Chalkbeat as examples of where innovation can occur for legacy media organizations to follow. One example of such innovation, he noted, is Chalkbeat’s development of tools that compel reporters to decide beforehand why a story should be done, and afterward to measure the impact.

Jarvis elaborated on the future of journalism in revenue opportunities saying, “We have to reinvent the fundamental metrics of success in journalism and in media around quality and value.”

He described the use of membership models as a valuable way to fund reporting. Membership recognizes the reader as a community member while sharing their needs, interests and circumstances, furthering the affinity between communities and journalism, he said. But it was clear from the exchanges he sees many more viable models for funding strong reporting.

He spoke, for instance, about the work of organizations like Buzzfeed and Vice to sell skills rather than eyeballs on a story – as in, the skill of creating advertising their audiences actually care about. Those publishers take creative control over their advertising to do so, using the profits to fund their reporting.

Whether such skills can be applied in a revenue model by local news publishers, he’s still working on. “It could be that we establish a reputation for knowing how to serve people and listen to them well,” he said. “We’ve got to figure out how to do it or else, there’s not enough money in philanthropy…subscriptions…or the government to fund all the journalism we need.”

Several attendees wanted to know whether he was hopeful about the future of the industry.

“Yeah,” Jarvis said, matter-of-factly. “If I weren’t I’d be a fraud teaching journalism school…and the reason I’m hopeful is my students.” Jarvis teaches engagement at the CUNY J-School and says graduates of the program are in high demand because of the skills they bring to the newsroom. They understand “how to listen to the public and create a feedback loop that is more than data and clicks, but that is substantive and valuable.”

#MVJ2021’s veteran showcase shares career-changing advice

By Resources

By Maximillian Boudreaux

Seasoned journalists provided career advice for the next generation of military storytellers during the first night of Military Veterans in Journalism’s inaugural convention on Oct. 21.

The Veteran Showcase panel was led by Justine Davie, a Marine veteran who produces the Ten Percent Happier podcast focusing on people becoming more fulfilled with their life.

The panel featured a diverse group of veterans with a wide range of skills in journalism. One of the mentors on the panel was J.P. Lawrence, a U.S. Army National Guard veteran who served from 2008 until 2017. Lawrence works for Stars and Stripes as a Middle East Reporter.

An important piece of advice Lawrence gave to other journalists: “Try to use networks that can get you around the networks.”

Clara Navarro also served on this panel of advisors. She served for two years in the Navy as a public affairs officer. During the panel she talked about her upcoming transition out of the military in January 2022. She will be starting an internship with National Public Radio.

“It’s not just your resume but it’s your clips, and there is nothing holding you back from writing to just write,” Navarro shared with the veterans in attendance who are seeking advice for how to break into the industry

Another journalism guru who helped round out this cast of storytellers was Davis Winkie, a North Carolina Army National Guard Veteran who works as reporter for the Army Times. He said his mission is to keep the military accountable.

During the panel, Winkie talked about how the Military Veterans in Journalism played a pivotal role in him landing his first job. He also shared how, at the beginning of his career, he was shocked to be getting some of the interviews he received. Winkie shared with the group that at times he would canvass people on LinkedIn for advice.

“My advice is to lean into as many groups as you can. Leaning into those groups really helped me learn the ropes,” Winkie said.