Sarah Glover ’96 returns to Newhouse to talk about the future of journalism

by Jewél Jackson

March 1, 2019

The NABJ president spoke about how to be a successful journalist within an evolving industry

Sarah Glover '96
National Association of Black Journalists president Sarah Glover speaks in the Joyce Hergenhan auditorium Feb. 25 Photo by Saniya More

Sarah Glover ’96 is busy. Juggling her role as the first two-term president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) with her job as the social media editor for NBC Owned Television Stations, she knows the key to success is a solid plan.

“You should be very strategic in what your goals are,” Glover said during her talk Feb. 25 at the Newhouse School, where she was a guest of the Leaders in Communications lecture series. “All you need is one person to believe in you. You would love for the whole world to be on your side and cheer you on, but you don’t need the whole world.”

Glover stressed the importance of a professional support community, which she put into three categories: mentors, sponsors and a “board of directors.”

“A mentor is going to be there for you, or you will tap them when you need direction or advice,” Glover said. “A sponsor is going to be more action-focused in really helping to steer your career and match you up to opportunities.”

A board of directors, Glover said, is more of a mutual support group, people in your field who can provide encouragement in ways that fall outside of the mentor or sponsor roles.

Glover also spoke about the link between success in journalism and the ability to adapt to new skills and technology. She said she had to adjust quickly to the emerging presence of videography in journalism after she graduated from Newhouse.

“You should be prepared to have multiple careers [and] job titles,” said Glover, adding that with journalism in such a constant state of transition, it’s important to not get too attached to any one job title or responsibility. In 10 years, she said, the job you imagined for yourself may not exist, and at that point, flexibility becomes crucial. Glover used herself as an example; in school, she was a dual major in photojournalism and African American studies. Now, she’s a social media editor at NBC.

She demonstrated the changes in technology and reporting styles by asking which social media app students used more, Snapchat or Instagram. The audience voted for Instagram, and Glover said that Instagram has a greater number of users now, but a year ago, Snapchat held that distinction.

As the discussion came to an end, Glover reminded students that is “better to be right than first” when speaking on pressing and trending topics.

“[Journalists] remain obligated to the truth.”

Jewél Jackson is a sophomore newspaper and online journalism major at the Newhouse School.