Assistant Professor Matthew LaPlante is no stranger to the journalism world. From time spent as a reporter for The Salt Lake Tribune to winning the Don Baker award for investigative reporting, he has built an astounding resume over the years.
On April 11, LaPlante will be speaking about citizen journalism at the Readers to Writers Open House in the Student Event Center at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus. The event starts at noon, with LaPlante speaking at 12:30 p.m.
“I like helping shine the light in places where otherwise wouldn’t be shined,” LaPlante says.
People rely on journalists to tell a story and present news. Although there are some who believe print journalism is a dying form of news medium, LaPlante tends to disagree. Fresh journalists out of college have the same advantage of obtaining a job as people in any other profession.
“We need people who are good with words, who can work on a deadline – those are marketable skills, whether you end up in journalism or not,” says LaPlante.
Those interested in journalism don’t necessarily need to have a degree in communication, but they need to know the craft of reporting and writing, according to LaPlante.
He also believes a convergence journalist is at a disadvantage because he or she cannot master all areas within that spectrum.
“There’s this idea of a jack-of-all-trades journalist out there who shoots video, and does audio recording and takes photos and write stories beautifully,” says LaPlante. “Those people don’t realize that all those things are incredibly hard to do. If you’re not a master of one of those areas, you’re not going to get a job.”
LaPlante currently works at Utah State University as an assistant professor in the Department of Journalism and Communication. He received his bachelor’s degree in liberal studies at Oregon State University, and master’s in education at California State University.
While at Oregon State University, LaPlante worked for The Daily Barometer and won the Society of Professional Journalist’s National Mark of Excellence Award for feature reporting.
LaPlante has years of experience as a reporter. He spent seven years as a national security reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune, with three of those years spent in Iraq covering U.S. military operations.