Career Day at South Middle School; Joplin News First, KSN-16 and KODE-12

Joplin News First

Students got to choose many different careers of interest and hear local experts in the field share of their expertise

JOPLIN, Mo. — Four States Home Page / Nexstar Media were invited to share with the students of South Middle School at Career Day 2020 on Wednesday. Gretchen Bolander, KODE-12 Reporter; Austin Hyslip, KSNF-16 Main Anchor and Shannon Becker Joplin News First all shared of their experiences in media together.

“We all started out with a degree in journalism or communications. A bachelors degree, I went to Pitt State in Pittsburg,” stated Bolander, who is a native of Wichita, Kansas. However she has lived in Joplin now more than 20 years with her husband.

Hyslip graduated from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. Making Joplin his career stop for nearly four years. He has been main anchor at KSNF-16 for nearly two years with Jessica Schaer.

And Shannon Becker, “I graduated from Missouri Southern, got my start in radio but having my degree allowed me to transition because radio has really died. I mean I don’t listen to the radio anymore. I listen to Spotify. I can make my own playlists and hear what I wanna hear!”

I started Joplin News First as an idea about 3 1/2 years ago in the fall of 2016 as an online media entity for breaking news. And it officially launched January 13, 2017.

One student asked Hyslip, “Do you put on your own make up?”

He laughed and replied, “Oh yes. We do everything ourselves. I put on my own make up. I buy my own clothes. Pick up my own dry cleaning. And make a fair wage for the work I do.”

“But there are a lot of perks to the job we do,” Bolander chimes in. Talking about meeting VIP’s. Going to see the space shuttle launch in Florida. Covering football games, NBA games, concerts, there are so many things you can do if you are part of the media.

With the emphasis on education and then sharing what they each do in their respective jobs they also shared how they work separate but together in their daily schedules around the clock covering local news.

Joey Ketchum, IT guy at SOUTH MIDDLE, used to work in TV with Shannon! Awesome seeing him! One of our greatest friends!

Thanks to the students and staff for inviting them!

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