The Art of Adapting: A profile of Jennifer Mauro

Professor Jennifer Mauro begins her first day teaching students at the Rutgers Communiversity program. However, this is not an entirely new experience for her.Mauro, a graduate of the university of has had quite a diverse career in the field. Her first job was as primary reporter/editor for the Times Herald-Record in upstate New York. She was active there during September 11th, an experience that drastically changed her journalistic perspective. She spent much time covering the aftermath along with many funerals. She’s gone on to describe the experience as having an unexpected emotional toll and intimidating. In one such instance she feared someone in her personal life had been lost to the tragedy.  However, this experience taught her how to keep composure in the workplace  and persevere through difficult tasks.

      From there, her career took off as she relocated to the Home News Tribune and Courier News in New Jersey for the next 10 years. She performed reporting and copy desk duties and eventually website duties for breaking news. In 2010, she accompanied her husband, a member of the U.S. Army to Germany. While overseas she became a part of the U.S. Public Affairs Office. Being in Germany allowed her to pursue her love of traveling. In a matter of two years, she was back in New Jersey freelance writing for local papers such as the Asbury Park Press.

Mauro has stated that much has changed since she first began pursuing journalism,  such as how the influence of social media and importance of breaking news have altered the field. She advised how a willingness to adapt is essential to being a successful journalist. 

When she’s not actively writing, she’s traveling and enjoys reading.   Mauro cites Elmore Leonard as one of her biggest influences. Despite this being her first day teaching, she’s previously taught journalism courses and is still currently a writing coach.

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Why Pop Culture Matters To Me

Kenny Bieber Mauro Special columns/topics 9/7/16/

 

It all started with a book. Comic books to be more precise. My dad had bought me a few StarWars ones and I stayed up all night reading them. At that moment; I knew it was in me, I had the writer’s bug. Throughout my childhood I drew pictures and mocked up my own stories in notebooks, a million ideas going through me each day. From there pop culture has been a significant part of my life. It followed me to middle school where I became part of the Creative Writing Club.

It hadn’t all come together until my first journalism course at Brookdale. The stories, the social aspects, the diversity all spoke to me. All that I loved about writing culminated in my appreciation for journalism. I realized I could write about my passions for film , literature, and pop culture and speak to a likeminded audience. From there I’ve pursued an education in journalism and media studies and plan on utilizing my skills towards a career.

As a writer it is my goal to relate to the current state of pop culture. An online article entitled The Function of Popular Culture in Society describes it as “ In addition to producing social norms, popular culture helps us establish social boundaries, the music we listen to, along with the clothes we wear and television we watch … not only helps shape our identities but also helps us find people more like ourselves”. These are the aspects of pop culture I’d emphasize, by addressing such connections I’d intend to gain a deeper understanding of who my readers truly are. Various writers that I follow online such as Jeffery M. Anderson of Combustible Celluloid, Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone and the late Roger Ebert’s essays and film criticisms.

What these writers have in common is their ability to communicate their appreciation of film and music while resonating personally with their readers. In my column I would aspire to reach that same level of empathy and respect for my subject matter and audience.

When my Dad showed me reading it  introduced me to new ideas and broadened my horizons. My love for literature gave me a deeper understanding of the world around me. Cinema as an art form carried me through many formative periods of my life, ranging from middle school to my freshman year at college.  I’ve never felt more alive than when I was writing, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

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