Andrew Polino G'15

July 17, 2017

“In some ways, my current job combines every element of my time at Newhouse.”

Andrew Polino, G’15, currently works as a video technologist for McClatchy Newspapers and works with emerging technologies for content creation. He graduated with a degree in broadcast and digital Journalism. 

A picture of Andrew Polino G'15
Andrew Polino G'15

How did you obtain your current position, and what positions did you hold before it?

I went through a rigorous six-part screening process which included learning a whole new process for mixing sound and documenting how I did it in a short amount of time. Before this job, I’d spent a year working freelance as a consultant and producer for 360-degree video and virtual reality.

What are your job responsibilities?

I’m the second half of the ‘Sandbox’ team: the part of McClatchy’s Video Lab that experiments with brand new technology and media formats (virtual and augmented reality, motion capture, photogrammetry, and much more), helps create cutting-edge content for our newspapers and advertisers, and offers access and guidance to these new ‘tools’ for all journalists under the McClatchy umbrella.

How do you feel Newhouse prepared you for your current job?

Newhouse prepared me in three ways. First, it gave me a solid background, great training and a lot practical experience in journalism. Second, it gave me incredible access to innovative technological breakthroughs (VR, 360 video, etc.) and a lot of space to experiment with applying them to journalistic storytelling. That mixture of a journalism background and a body of work in VR was surprisingly rare when I applied for the job. Third, my experience as an instructional associate made it a lot easier for me to learn new tools and processes quickly and then teach them to other journalists. In some ways, my job with McClatchy combines every element of my time at Newhouse.

Why did you select Newhouse for graduate studies?

In my hometown of Buffalo, N.Y., I interned in a public radio newsroom and got to know several other local reporters in radio and TV. So many of them mentioned Newhouse as one of the best options for aspiring journalists. It was Newhouse’s reputation, its pedigree, its professional connections and its willingness to offer me an IA position immediately upon accepting me that sealed the deal. Newhouse was a big deal, and they seemed to believe in me. That made it an easy choice.

What was unique about your graduate program?

It was evolving and transitioning right as I was going through it. The new Newhouse Studios and Innovation Lab were just opening. The future of the Long Form Video Journalism classes was uncertain. It was a solid requirement for students to practice having a social media presence and post digital versions of their stories.

In addition, the first ever Virtual Reality Storytelling classes were being held. The news industry has been going through a dramatic shift in recent years, and Newhouse absolutely reflected that. This kind of environment drove home how adaptable, driven, curious and willing to go (and stay) outside of any comfort zone I’d have to be to survive as a journalist.

Describe your most valuable/significant experience at Newhouse.

Staying for an extra semester to train the next class of IAs and take my electives. I got to see a whole new wave of students go through everything I’d just gone through and apply my own experiences toward helping and encouraging them. And the two electives I ended up taking, Digital and Online News and Virtual Reality Storytelling completely changed the course of my life and career. So on both fronts, my extra fall semester was a rare opportunity to take everything I’d learned as a grad student and apply it in a new, exciting way.

Is there a professor or class that you would recommend?

For broadcasting, I’d recommend Hub Brown. He’s a brilliant, loving guy, and as a professor, he’s the master of the ‘fair but firm’ approach in criticizing and grading you on your news packages and live shots. You learn the hardest lessons from him, and yet you probably feel the greatest pleasure from him when you succeed. For digital, if you really want to keep your finger on the pulse of where journalism is headed, absolutely take “Web and Digital Journalism” and round it out with Dan Pacheco and Ken Harper’s “VR Storytelling” classes. You get great opportunities to knock together stories, learn valuable new skills, and let your ambitions as a storyteller flow free.

Best on-campus memory or activity?

It’s a tie between rushing around with my project partner to shoot footage for an investigative piece on city snow removal during one of the snowiest winters and coldest Februaries in Syracuse’s recorded history, and the night I had to finish and upload the final edit in time to catch Billy Joel in concert at the Carrier Dome.

What advice do you have for current or incoming students?

This program “tests” people, often well past the usual threshold for stress, but it absolutely does pay off in the end. So my advice to new students would be first, check your ego at the door. Take nothing personally, ask for help and always remember to check yourself and make sure you’re going into this field for the right reasons. And second, always be open and adaptable. Never let the career goals and interests you came in with stop you from seeking out new things, following something that seems interesting or recognizing a great opportunity when it’s right in front of you.

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