Continuing the companion interviews to this piece, here's what Steph Rogers, author of the J-Source recap that got me interested in this story, had to say. I quoted the part of her recap that stood out to me, then quoted Jones' response, then asked for her side of the story. Here's what she had to say:
(I'm a little surprised that there was any issue that arose out of Chris' advice, but I nevertheless, I'll hope that the purpose of your piece isn't to crucify me.)
As a journalism student, a lot of the advice that I often hear given by people in the industry is very helpful, but also a lot of the same.
I thought Fast Break provided an extremely honest perspective from all four of the panelists as moderated by Nadine, and particularly Augustine and Jones on likability.
I'm amazed at the things I see said on Twitter, Facebook, and in the comment section of articles. Rude and malicious remarks are common practice because people feel the internet is faceless. Especially including someone's @-name on Twitter in an insult? Happens all the time.
I've seen colleagues and classmates alike say things that I'm sure they wouldn't say to someone's face, and most certainly to someone who they may one day want to work with or for. As Chris said in his email to you, seems like common sense, but it's not.
I think hearing this from people who work in the industry (who have a hand in passing your resume along, who might be the person who can help you get to where you need to be, etc) was necessary.
You could know everything there is to know about sports, be the greatest writer in history, and if you were an asshole to those people on the internet with useless attacks on their career and character, don't you think they'd remember?
Employers are looking up prospective hires all the time online, and anyone would be silly to think it's not a factor, in journalism or otherwise.
It was refreshing to have the panelists, all important in their four corners of the industry, reinforcing how important it is to be nice in this 'people business'. I think it might be one of the most important pieces of advice that a young journalist could take with them in a digital age, and I certainly believe it was more than just me who walked away from the event with that.
Ultimately, I think Jones' quote he gave me before the event (at the end of the piece) solidifies how willing he is to help young people figure out how to get their foot in the door. His presence at the event, the positions he's held, he's someone who I respect a great deal. That said, his willingness to be open and honest about the industry even more of an asset.
“I spent quite a bit of time smashing my face against that wall. I feel like it’s my little way to give back to help students try to get over that same wall and I hope they stick with it,” said Jones, before the event started.
“Journalism’s in a state of flux right now, and we’re all sick of hearing about it. I still think there are lots of great jobs out there and that it’s a great career,” he said. “Hopefully today is one of those days that gets these guys on their start.”
I hope this helps, and again, if this is meant to crucify me, I respectfully ask to be left out.
Thanks to Steph for her responses. Follow her on Twitter here.