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.