Skip navigation
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Ryan Pearson

Class of 2002, Bachelor's

I’m a “newsman” for the AP here in LA, meaning I write, edit, report and occasionally go on AP Radio. I’m often the desk supervisor for night and weekend shifts, meaning I file all print stories to the AP wire for Southern California.


What are the top three skills journalism students should learn in college?:

Write, write, write. No matter what type of journalism you go into, you’ll be judged on your writing. Learn to find your own stories by keeping your eyes and ears open to the world, and always exploring. And one thing you won’t practice much in college but will be valuable later—learn to pitch your stories.

What were your duties at ATVN? :

Reporter and producer.  Those were the good old days.

How did ATVN prepare you for your career?:

ATVN is a wonderful way to get to know what it’s like to do news-gathering at the pace that it takes in the real world. The pressures I felt and responsibility I had at ATVN made me appreciate speed, which is now a key part of my job at a wire service.

List any additional major(s) or minor(s) you had at USC. What impact have they had on your career?:

My internships in both TV news and newspapers, starting in high school, prepared me for being a journalist. I also had an internship with AP which was great in preparing me for the unique work of a wire service.

What is your advice to aspiring journalists?:

Journalism is fun and is a way to be always learning about the world. If you’re in it for fame and glory, don’t do it, but if you want to be always learning and linking people together, go for it. And as somebody who studied broadcast but went into print, be open to working in all forms of journalism—that’s the future of the job.

What should graduates keep in mind when negotiating their first job?:

Heh ... Want some money? Go into print! smile Heresy, I know. A beginning print journalist will get paid a lot more than a beginning broadcaster, but you won’t advance as quickly. Seriously, just determine how much money you need to be happy, where you’d like to live, how much you want to move, and try to make it all fit together. And AP is a great company, if you’re looking. We have print, radio and TV jobs.  E-mail me if you’re interested.

Twitter Feed