On Thursday, November 18th C.W Post students had the opportunity of listening to speaker, Robert Cassidy, courtesy of the Media Arts Department, a mobile journalist from Newsday. Cassidy shared his journey with prospective journalists as well as those who share a love for the field.
Cassidy was “born into the boxing beat” as he puts it, and has had a love for sports for as long as he can remember. In 1987 he began covering sports and his covering of boxing has appeared in Newsday, LA Times, NY Post, Timeout NY, and The Ring. Currently, he is the Deputy Editor of Multimedia at Newsday. On his journey he has also co-authored six books and written a one act play, which was produced off Broadway. C.W Post students can closely relate to Cassidy because he is a graduate from C.W Post himself, class of ’85.
“When I first started working at Newsday a paper was only so many pages, now I have the ability to change a 400 word story into a 1,000 word story on Newday.com,” Cassidy tells his audience. Throughout his presentation the mobile journalist tried to reiterate that with the evolving field of technology journalists have so many more options and ways to tell a story.
“I never thought as a writer I’d be taking videos and photographs, but it’s all about versatility,” he goes on to say. When asked what his most useful piece of advice for future journalists is, without hesitation Cassidy exclaimed again, “Versatility!” By sharing personal experiences Cassidy thoroughly explained exactly what he meant by being versatile.
He engaged his audience in a story about a morning he was reporting a high school football game and got a call that something had happened two miles away and he was to report there immediately; Cassidy had to become a one man team and take the role of shooting, reporting, and photographing. “As a mobile journalist you are constantly feeding back info. Every minute counts, however, the principles of journalism stay the same. You have to be accurate,” says Cassidy.
The presentation also included a Q&A period and many students and professors questioned Cassidy about his experiences. One listener asked, “What skills are the most important to take away from college?” Cassidy answered with, “Reporting. Basic reporting is your foundation. It is also important to check your facts.”
Robert Cassidy concluded with saying, “The coolest thing about being a mobile journalist is waking up and not knowing where you will end up. Don’t judge a story until you get there,” he says, “because some of the most interesting people you meet aren’t celebrities.”