Gracie Awards Attendees Offer Cogent Career Advice

The Gracie Awards were held last night in Los Angeles, celebrating “outstanding programming for, by and about women.”

We caught up with a few media personalities on the red carpet, getting some career advice from the pros. Shaun Robinson took the Outstanding Host award last night for her work on Access Hollywood, but she shared some general advice about breaking out in the business:

“Today there are so many different media outlets for people to get started. When I was coming up in the business, you had like four stations that you could send your resume tapes to. Now there’s so many outlets, you can start own show and then send those links out to different executive producers and let them see your work. It’s a new day today, it’s about creating your own show. You can have your own show, like that. It wasn’t like that when I was first coming up in the business.”

Fox Sports Radio reporter Deb Carson had some simple advice for aspiring reporters:

“Follow whatever your dream is, whatever area of journalism it is. Whether it’s human interest stories or sports, follow what your passion is. Because your ability is going to shine when you are focused on the stories that you want to be covering. I’m speaking from experience. A friend of mine, they were trying to make her into a sports journalist, but she wanted to be in war zones. She wanted to be doing those sorts of things. So she was always unhappy doing sports and when she got the opportunity to go cover the stories that she wanted to cover, that’s when she started to flourish and shine and move up the career ladder.”

She concluded:

“I would say for anyone trying to get their foot in the door: do any kind of internship or mentoring that you can get your hands on. Any opportunity to pick the brain of somebody who has been there and walked in the shoes.”

Author and Scandal actor Dan Bucatinsky talked about how new voices can flourish in the shifting media landscape:

“A few years ago, the Internet seemed to be the Wild, Wild West. And now it’s like Vegas, with condos on it everywhere. But I still believe it is a place where people can let their voice be heard. Whether it’s a webisode or direct to camera or vlogging or blogging. I really believe there is an opportunity for young writers to express themselves and let the Internet be the place for their work to be seen. It wasn’t that way 20 years ago. So it’s exciting.”

Scrubs actress Sarah Chalke presented the Outstanding Reporter award, and revealed her respect for reporters:

“When I’m in my car, it’s only ever on KCRW and I listen to NPR all the time. It’s exciting to be a part of nights like these, because it is honoring people in all aspects of the media. Reporting is such an incredible profession, and it takes so much: a combination of intelligence and guts and the ability to think on your feet. You are sometimes flying by the seat of your pants. I have so much respect for journalists who put their lives at risk.”