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Advice for Journalists: Alexander Pyles

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Maryland chapter.

A former content editor for The Baltimore Sun detailed how it’s essential for journalists to have a wide range of skills and also detailed social media’s role in spreading journalism.

Alexander Pyles, 31, currently a communication manager at the University of Maryland, spoke to UMD students Monday night.

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Pyles, describing himself as a “big Baltimore Orioles fan,” used a baseball reference to communicate his thoughts on small newsrooms. Saying how, “Melvin Mora was great… because he was a utility man,” Pyles compared Mora to a newsroom, and said, “any place that is a small local newspaper or a regional…news organization like that, that’s how they are…you need to be able to play more than one position.”

Pyles went to college at the University of Maryland Baltimore County where he majored in English and minored in journalism. He then went to graduate school at UMD where he got his master’s at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. There, he expanded his skill set including learning how to shoot and edit videos, build websites and utilize social media.

Pyles explained that knowing how to take videos and photos is essential for reporters. Pyles also explained how videos allow a way to make money through the selling of advertisements, saying that “video is just that much more critically important to the business model than it has ever been before.”

When asked if he thought his journalism career would’ve been different had he not gone to graduate school, Pyles responded saying, “I’m not sure that I would’ve had a very long career in journalism. I’m not sure I would’ve been able to make enough money to make it work.”

Pyles also commented on the use of social media within the journalism field. He explained that he used to focus on spreading content via Twitter, now, however, he said he’s come to learn that Facebook is a better platform for spreading content. Pyles referred to Twitter as “a big journalism, media, communications echo chamber” and said that a larger percent of the population uses Facebook.

Additionally, Pyles said how social media has become a breeding ground for misinformation, disinformation and propaganda. Because of this, Pyles said, “I don’t trust anything.” He advised students to look at who created the work and to search online for information to ensure what they’re reading is true.


Bethie Loewenthal is a junior at the University of Maryland majoring in Journalism. Loewenthal is interested in social justice and gender equality.
Ambriah Underwood is an avid reader and writer. In 2016, she graduated from Baltimore City College high school becoming an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme recipient. She attends the University of Maryland as a senior, pursuing a degree in journalism with a minor in Spanish. During the spring of 2018, she copyedited news, opinion and diversion sections for an on-campus, student-run publication known as The Diamondback. After spending a year writing for Her Campus Maryland, and, later, functioning as an editor as well, she became co-Campus Correspondent. She plans to further her involvement with the group as well as gain more editorial experience through internships and by continuing her passion for storytelling. Ambriah Underwood resides in Washington County, Maryland.