Today I attended my first networking event with SPJ Salisbury as a little baby freshman. We piled into a University van with a Communications professor, who also happens to be the president of SPJ Maryland, and made our way down to WBAL in Baltimore.

We attended a panel of 4 journalists and 1 attorney. The topic of the panel was the Freddie Gray cases that occured over the past year and a half, because all 4 of the journalists were in the court room covering the case for their respected affiliations, and the attorney attended the trials also, as well as provided clarity for the journalists on the legality what was taking place.

They told the stories of the complications they encountered throughout their journalism process while covering the trials. They shared the things they witnessed both inside and outside of the courtroom, and told us the things to always be looking for to add a twist or context details to our pieces.

They were all amazing people with tremendous experience and great advice. They provided us with tips on how to cover a story regarding what goes on in the courtroom with the struggles of no technology and in this case, a gag order.

This was my first SPJ event, but it certainly will not be my last. I was able to dip my toes in the water of a great organization that can benefit me greatly in the long run. I learned how important it was to network with working professionals in the field because when it comes time for internships and the big job hunt, the advantage I will have as an SPJ member will be phenomenal. I hope to become more active in the SPJ community over the course of my 4 years in college, as well as continue to particpate in the various communications clubs.

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