May 18, 2024

Former CNN reporter speaks to journalism students

Former CNN reporter David Mattingly gave a lecture to students in professor Jim Stovall’s media writing class Thursday, Feb. 26.

david mThursday, Feb. 26, former CNN reporter David Mattingly spoke to journalism students in professor Jim Stovall’s media writing class.

Mattingly worked as a reporter at CNN for 23 years. During that time, he traveled to 30 countries and all 50 states. He spoke to students on his experience, reporting style and how to be a successful storyteller.

Giving the students insight to his personal style of reporting, Mattingly showed a series of clips highlighting the personal aspect of his storytelling. He stated a vital element of journalism is to hold the audience’s interest. Through showing students his hands-on reporting, he emphasized the importance of an obvious beginning, middle and end to every story.

“If you’re telling a story that doesn’t interest anybody, or telling a story that isn’t compelling… you’ve failed,” stated Mattingly. He encouraged students to have a constant state of curiosity in life, so that they might ask the right questions to deliver a compelling story.

Mattingly quoted Dr. Stovall’s advice to him as a college student.

“Journalists aren’t born, they are made. This is a learn-by-doing process where you learn something every day.” Mattingly said. Stovall taught Mattingly when he was a student at the University of Alabama.

When asked what the most important thing journalism students can do to prepare for their futures, Mattingly answered, “Practice.” He urged the class to take advantage of every opportunity available and to start learning now.

“If you have the fire inside you, if you have the drive and the will, you can do it,” Mattingly said.

For more information on David Mattingly or to contact him personally, visit his Facebook page.

Edited by Courtney Anderson


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