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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI journalism senior producing results

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KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 9, 2005 -- Although she may not be in front of the camera, University of Rhode Island senior Meghan Palmieri plays an integral role in deciding what will be seen on the ABC6 Providence newscast. Palmieri, who graduates this month with a degree in journalism with a history minor, is already working full-time as a news assistant. She credits URI for her success.

“URI and the Journalism Department have not only helped me to discover what I am good at, but also have prepared me for the real world of job performance abilities,” said Palmieri, a resident of Cranston. “Every experience has been positive,” she said.

Palmieri decided to major in journalism because she liked writing and enjoyed public speaking. As a freshman, she wanted to become a news anchor, but as she continued with her journalism courses, she realized that she enjoyed writing more than any other part of the process. “I learned that being a reporter is not as glamorous as I once thought,” she said.

Her favorite classes were feature writing and radio and television news writing. Professor Barbara Meagher, who taught her radio and television news writing course, recommended Palmieri for the internship-turned-job last spring.

“When Kathy Gazda, the former news director at ABC6 asked me if I knew anyone who wanted to work weekends, the first person I thought of was Meghan,” said Meagher, who is a former reporter for the station. “I knew she had the qualities Kathy was looking for: someone who was bright, learned quickly, and would actually report to work on weekend nights even when she had many alternatives.”

“I didn’t want to take the position at first,” Palmieri admitted. “I was worried that I would have no time for a social life, but everyone kept telling me it was a great way to get experience.”

Soon after she began her internship, she was promoted to weekend mornings. She then was offered a job working full-time during the week as well.

As a news assistant, Palmieri works at the assignment desk. Her responsibilities include looking through newspapers and press releases to help decide what stories will make it on air; sending photographers and reporters to locations for shoots and live reports; listening to police and fire station scanners for breaking news; and working the TelePrompTer during newscasts. She also acts as an associate producer twice a week, helping other producers write stories and voiceovers for broadcast.

In her spare time, Palmieri is being trained as a news producer. She hopes to work at ABC6 for a while, and eventually either move up to a network post or write for a magazine.

“I’ve never had a student who has worked so long full-time before graduation. Imagine the possibilities after she graduates,” said Meagher.

Palmieri is understandably excited to graduate. “When I started working full-time at the station, I had no idea how tough it would be with the added stress of schoolwork and deadlines,” she said. “It hasn’t been easy to balance everything.”

Her advice to future graduates: “Have confidence in yourself and your abilities and never be afraid to take a chance. Take any job offered in your field because there is always a way to work your way up once you get your foot in the door.” URI News Bureau photo by Michael Salerno Photography