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An Alumnus with a passion for journalism

Cassidy Apple | photo provided by Cassidy Apple | The Wright State Guardian

Rory Gilmore is partially responsible for Cassidy Apple’s career in journalism.

Yes, seriously.

Gilmore inspired

Today, Cassidy Apple is the Digital Manager for Cox Media Group Ohio (CMG) after five years working for the organization. Having completed her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication, she is now in charge of all forms of digital content at CMG Ohio.

And yes, her interest in Journalism somewhat began with the Gilmore Girls.

Apple always loved to write, but Rory’s character spurred her interest furthermore in making it a career. This was her initial exposure to the field.

Her dream switched to attending law school upon the completion of her degree.

However, when she went through media writing classes, Apple was reminded of her first love – journalism. She went on to work in different student jobs and internships.

She worked in the Montgomery County Public Defender’s Office during her junior year.

“It gave me a great foundation for understanding court proceedings and criminal law,” Apple said.

In addition, she was the social media manager for the College of Liberal Arts at Wright State University. This gave Apple the opportunity to work with the dean, as well as run various social media platforms for the 12 departments.

Cox Media experience

During her senior year, she acquired an internship at Cox Media. Here she was exposed to all the elements of the journalism field.

As an intern for the Breaking News Team, she experienced it all.

“I took and prioritized tip calls, called police departments to confirm leads, assigned first responders to scenes and wrote web bursts that were our initial ‘breaking’ of big stories,” Apple said. “It was high-pressure and high-responsibility, and taught me more than I can ever put into words.”

The faculty at Wright State University played a large role in Apple’s development, not only academically, but career-wise as well. They showed her that the journalism world stretched far beyond broadcast and print, and challenged her to take on the endless media formats there are today.

Apple says there is no such thing as a perfectly normal day at work.

“Digital is the one platform that is truly 24/7, and since I lead that department, my work is truly 24/7 and unpredictable, especially in times such as these.”

Currently, as she is expecting her first child, Apple must only work from home, as coronavirus continues to spread. Prior to the outbreak, her “normal day” would run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., consisting of meetings with various staff, the delegation of work, and planning.

Technically, she considers herself always on-call, as some news breaks happen overnight. Her days are now full of coverage for the pandemic. This means listening to many press conferences, constantly trying to acquire accurate information and keeping the community well-informed.

Trust and passion

Apple said one of the most difficult things is keeping the public’s trust.

“Many blame the media for blowing coronavirus out of proportion, and we don’t want to perpetuate that feeling,” she said. “We have conversations daily around how best to present the information, while providing context and balance.”

Her advice to aspiring journalists is to first have a passion for the field, as journalism is an all-consuming field for one’s life.

“My biggest piece of advice is to welcome challenges, and take as much as you can from every experience,” Apple said.

Volunteering, interning and speaking in meetings are all things that will prepare one for the journalism field.

“It all sounds so cliche and obvious, but in a field like journalism where things move so fast, you can’t afford to not be proactive,” said Apple. “The metaphoric train is going to keep moving at high speed, as the industry continues to evolve ― so if you want to evolve with it, jump on.”