Spotlights
Jason Newton Visits Eastern Tech
Is Jason Newton from WBAL-TV (Channel 11) “the Average Joe”?
07/17/2015

Spotlight

On Wednesday, July 15, WBAL-TV co-anchor Jason Newton visited a summer creative writing workshop at Eastern Technical High School. He talked to students, answered questions, and explained the importance of featured stories through videos.

Mr. Newton graduated from City College in Baltimore City and went to the University of Maryland (UMD), studying to become a pediatrician.

“It was going fine until I took a class called organic chemistry,” he said, going on to talk about when he finally asked his father, a dean at UMD, for help.

“It’s always good to ask for help when needed, even if you’re too embarrassed,” Mr. Newton explained.

Mr. Newton was very open to questions that the Eastern Tech students asked.

“How long did it take to graduate after switching your major to journalism?” one of the students asked.

“With the extra credits that I took while studying to become a pediatrician, I graduated in the early winter of 2001, instead of the summer of 2000. Feeling like the old guy on campus really motivated me to graduate faster,” Mr. Newton responded.

As if he read the students’ minds and knew that they were thinking to ask the question, “How much do you make from being a journalist on TV?” Mr. Newton mentioned, “If you’re looking to get rich, this isn’t the job for you. You have to work hard now so that it pays off in the future.”

When Mr. Newton asked students what they wanted to do in the future, he explained the importance of stories on television. In particular, he described how to catch and sustain a viewer’s attention.

“The way to connect to a story is to experience it first-hand,” he said. “To do this, the creator needs to use sensory details and clichés while speaking, use sounds that relate to what is going on, and use the best angles to capture the subject correctly.”

He also showed some videos of news stories that did exactly that, capturing the attention all of the students in the room.

Mr. Newton finished his visit by telling the Eastern Tech students to “take every opportunity that you can get to advance in your career, including internships and summer workshops like this.”

By his own admission, Mr. Newton is “the Average Joe.” But, through hard work and dedication, he believes one can achieve anything.

Story by Isabella Holcombe, incoming Grade 9 student, Eastern Technical High School.
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