As the MIPA summer conference’s first night’s keynote speaker, Tricia Bobeda, who now serves as the senior editor of multiplatform news at WBEZ-Chicago, encouraged students to practice journalistic integrity while following their passions in the ever-changing field.
“Build the thing you think the world needs,” Bobeda said, while discussing her co-start of the podcast the Nerdette, which was her passion project she started around five years ago alongside Greta Johnsen.
Nearly 15 years ago, Bobeda, a Northwestern Journalism School graduate, spent two years in the same seats as the current workshop participants. Since her time at MIPA, Bobeda said her passions led her to pursue a career in journalism, where she learned what she views as the four super powers of journalists, which includes listening to people and combating the ignorance that plagues our culture.
“I don’t think we (journalists) should think of ourselves as superheroes,” Bobeda said, “but we do have superpowers.”
While discussing how journalism has been under attack in recent months, Bobeda spoke about gaining the trust of readers and building publications’ reputations. Citing the idea that with great power comes great responsibility, she pushed the students to be skeptical, yet compassionate.
Bobeda also emphasized that during her hiring process for potential journalists at WBEZ, the three qualities she looks for are hustle, heart and curiosity—traits that, according to her, can’t be taught with degrees.
Bobeda spoke highly of her time at the MIPA summer conference.
“I learned more at MIPA in two years than in my college courses,” Bobeda said.
She ended by motivating the students to seize the opportunity of being enveloped in journalism for four days.
“There’s no better time and place to do it than now,” Bobeda said. “So do it.