NATCHITOCHES – Javanti Thomas, who recently earned a degree in New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts at Northwestern State University, established an award for students in that department. The award will be presented to a sophomore, junior or senior who is involved with student media.
Thomas, 21, began working at KSLA News 12, Shreveport’s CBS affiliate, while still a student at NSU. He is currently employed there as a content producer, producing newscasts for KSLA News 12 This Morning, writing many of the stories the anchors read on air and contributing to the station’s website and social media channels.
As an undergraduate, Thomas, a Dean’s List student, was involved with President’s Leadership Program, KNWD, NSU-TV, Student Government Association and Potpourri yearbook. He also wrote for the Natchitoches Parish Journal and Metro Leader. He graduated with honors in December.
“It was my dream opportunity and very challenging to complete my degree while working,” he told students during a visit to a Comm 2530 class at NSU. “This scholarship is to give back to Student Media at NSU. I wanted to give back to the program because NSU gave so much to me,” Thomas said.
Thomas was drawn to journalism by a desire to tell stories. He originally declared English education as his college major but changed his major on the first day of orientation. He told students that Involvement in student media – NSU-TV, KNWD, the weekly Current Sauce newspaper and Potpourri yearbook — and fluency with social media are critical in gaining practical experience to make them stand out to prospective employers.
“The more skills you know, the less replaceable you are,” Thomas said. “There are always people more qualified than you and have to work harder and take initiative.”
Information on NSU’s Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts is available at nsula.edu/newmedia.