Alum talks to editors about using social media in reporting

By Elana Zeltser

Lucas Shaw ’07, who landed a job in journalism only one month after graduating from Columbia University last June, spoke about his career to a round table of high school journalists from schools around Los Angeles County in Weiler Hall on Sunday March 4.

Editors from Beverly Hills High School, Marlborough, Crossroads, Loyola, Notre Dame, Oakwood, Sierra Canyon, Shalhevet and Polytechnic gathered to share ideas and techniques regarding organization, design and staff management from their different school newspapers. They were then given the opportunity to ask Shaw questions about the journalism industry outside of high school.

Despite interning for the Hollywood insider website,, while in college, Shaw did not plan on jumping straight into a career of journalism, he said. However, when the job  of media reporter at the website was offered to him, Shaw grabbed the opportunity.

Now he works up to 12 hours a day, reading newspapers and scanning twitter, writing and uploading as many stories as he can. Shaw has the opportunity to report on practically anything, from new technology, to sports, to upcoming movies, as long as he angles it through the lens of media and its effect on the entertainment industry, he said.

Shaw, who was sports editor of The Chronicle and founder of the sports magazine Big Red while at Harvard-Westlake, credited much of his vocational success to his high school journalism training.

He said he didn’t work for his college newspaper because in college “you basically can choose between your academics, working on the paper, sleeping and having a social life. You can do three, or maybe two of those things, but not four.”

He stressed the importance of using social media as a key resource when learning to report efficiently and effectively. Shaw advised students to familiarize themselves with social media sites, most importantly Twitter, as they are the most practical way to follow a breaking story. He also stressed the importance of video footage, which often attracts more traffic and profit to a site than just text.

As a reporter on new media sending out updates through new media, Shaw’s discussion regarding his career clearly depicted the changing direction the journalism industry has taken.