President of NABJ Reflects on Life Journey

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 at 6:57 PM
President of NABJ Reflects on Life Journey by Tracy Geibel
Sarah Glover is the president of the National Association of Black Journalists. Glover visited Edinboro on Friday to present β€˜The Changing Media Landscape.’

This person is too good to be true.

That’s what Dr. Anthony Peyronel, department chairperson of the journalism and public relations department, thought when he was handed this woman’s resume and cover letter.

The resume listed an undergraduate degree from Syracuse University, an internship at the Washington Post and more. Then, he looked at the cover letter.

“It was impeccably written,” Peyronel said. “[And] I will never forget the signature. It said, ‘Sarah J Glover’ in these big, looping cursive letters. It didn’t look like a human hand had written it; it looked like a computer generated font.”

He had two reactions. The first was that some of the information must have been fabricated. The second was that “there has to be something wrong with this person.”

But, he was surprised to find out that this woman’s resume and cover letter were both authentic.

Edinboro University alumna Sarah J. Glover, president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and social media editor for NBC Owned Television Stations, based in New York City, New York, addressed “The Changing Media Landscape” on the evening of Friday, Feb. 12 in Compton Hall, room 107A.

Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, Glover attended Syracuse University to earn a B.A. in Photojournalism and African American Studies before coming to Edinboro University for her M.A. in Communication Studies.

“I wanted to get a Master’s degree in something else that wasn’t journalism,” Glover said. Not only was she attracted to the size and intimacy of the department, but at that time, she was especially interested in being able to do something with ethnography.

“I just felt like I fit right in,” she said.

Glover was able to complete the program at an accelerated pace and went on to work at the Philadelphia Inquirer while finishing her thesis.

At age 13, Glover bought her first camera. She saved up money by working two jobs; she had a paper route and worked at Little Caesar’s Pizza.

She was interested in journalism since she was young and began taking photography classes in high school. It was something she enjoyed, but she didn’t realize how talented she was until she began taking classes at Syracuse.

“I was taken aback that I was really quite good for my age,” Glover said. “I knew all the photography basics and how to do black and white and color, so I was way ahead of the game. I knew I had to keep going on this.”

While in college she networked, trying to make connections with as many photographers as she could. It paid off when she started looking for internships, as she interned at The Washington Post, The Raleigh News and Observer, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Miami Herald.

“I really pursued the internships,” Glover said. “I tried to acquire mentors as photographers throughout my undergraduate so I wasn’t just sending in applications in the mail but that someone in that organization might know my name.”

“That’s one thing that can’t be underestimated, networking.”

Those mentors have become her friends, a group of photographers that she is comfortable approaching and working with to this day. Her favorite mentor was an editor at The Washington Post.

“He was probably the most difficult editor that I’ve ever experienced,” she said. “He was constantly working to make me a better photographer.”

“I think those are the best internships, when you are challenged. If it’s just easy and no one is making you work harder or stretch yourself, that’s not really a good service. You want to be around people who are really going to push you… to become even better than you are.”

She thought she would retire as a photojournalist. But then she was laid off.

“You don’t ever expect that you are going to walk into work one day and lose your job,” Glover said. “It never crosses your mind, even if there are things happening in the industry.”

“[But] you have to pick yourself up and keep going forward.”

Glover began networking like she did in college. She updated her resume, created a website, and started considering options that weren’t necessarily related to photography.

“That was the first time that I realized I needed to open up to the fact that I might not be retiring as a photographer,” she said.

Now she is the social media editor for NBC Owned Television Stations, where she manages the social media for its 11 stations.

Six months ago, she was elected president of the NABJ after serving four years as the Philadelphia chapter president.

“It’s the first time we’ve had a social media editor as the president, so it shows that the industry is changing,” Glover said.

Photography is still one of Glover’s favorite hobbies. She has her camera out to shoot every week and is teaching her son, too.

“I intend to keep doing that for the rest of my life, and who’s to say, maybe I still will retire as a photographer.”

Tracy Geibel is the Executive Editor for The Spectator and she can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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