Pulitzer Prize winner visits students on campus

Dolores Vil

Contributing Writer

Recently the Observer student newspaper had the honor of hosting a Pulitzer Prize winner Brittany Wallman from the Sun-Sentinel.

The Observer, housed on South Campus, is Broward College’s collegewide bi-weekly student-produced newspaper, which is open to all enrolled students of all majors.

Students get the opportunity to showcase their media skills and gain journalism experience before graduation.

Not only does the Observer give the news to everyone but they host weekly workshops to engage students in journalism.

Wallman was one of the guest speakers during the Observer Workshop Series. This series hosts speakers from different areas in journalism from print, online, television or public relations as well as different transfer universities that have journalism programs.

According to Professor Jennifer Shapiro, students who attend these workshops can gain insight into their future careers.

“The workshops are a great opportunity to network,” said, Shapiro. “I also put on an Annual Journalism Boot Camp in the spring term, which features an all-day line up of different speakers and students. So students have an opportunity to get their work critiqued by professional journalists and editors,” said Shapiro.

Wallman, senior reporter at the Sun-Sentinel, was part of the team who won a Pulitzer for their investigative journalism covering the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

Wallman shared her experience winning the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service Award.

She shared hardships faced while obtaining the award and told the attendees through it all she just wanted an opportunity to create an impact on the community, whether she had to face jail time or not

According to Wallman, the process of creating the multi-media article was tough on her and co-workers, all due to the sensitivity of the subject.

Observer Online Editor Thandie Brown said she appreciated every step that called for quality to deliver the most accurate news. Wallman and her team made sure to check court records and any other legal documents to validate and solidify their story.

Attendees aside from Brown ranged from Fall 2019 Editor in Chief, Michelle Castano, editor Anabel Sanchez, to Professor Shapiro’s journalism students.

All attendees were avid learners, putting all phones on silent and scooting in close to hear what Wallman had to share.

The only conversation in the room were questions being asked back and forth by students to showcase their enthusiasm and respect for Wallman.

“Very good journalist, charismatic and transparent,” said Castano about Wallman.

At the end of the event, Wallman encouraged the students to apply for internships at the Sun-Sentinel. She was also generous as to pass out her business card.

“Feel free to contact me,” said Wallman. Even after, the attendees were still intrigued by her presence and decided to say their thanks and ask further questions.

Aside from Wallman, other speakers in the workshop series have included Sun-Sentinel photographers, reporters from WLRN News and representatives from FIU’s and UF’s Journalism programs.

For more information about the Observer Workshop Series, contact Shapiro at JShapiro@broward.edu.


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