Pulitzer grantee shares reporting experiences with students and faculty

During an Oct. 22 lecture on campus, Melanie Saltzman spoke about being a producer, a multimedia journalist and how she got her start as a reporter.

Melanie Saltzman, a multimedia journalist who reports, shoots and produces stories for PBS NewsHour Weekend, hosted a community-wide presentation for students, faculty and staff on Oct. 22.

Students and faculty watch clips of Saltzman’s work with PBS.

After visiting with School of Communications classes and talking with student journalists during her two-day visit, Saltzman hosted a public lecture in McEwen Communications Building’s screening room. The Pulitzer grantee highlighted her work on the PBS series “The Future of Food,” showing clips of the series on PBS and describing her process on and off the screen.

Students in attendance asked Saltzman about her career, her experience at PBS, and how she went from the kid with the camera to a working multimedia journalist.

Alayna McNally, a first-year Elon student, attended the event as a way to better understand where her education could take her.

“As a cinema and television arts major, I try to go to events where professionals in my potential future career field talk about their experiences and work,” McNally said. “The excitement Saltzman showed for her work was inspiring to see as someone who wants to do similar work.”

Kenn Gaither, associate dean in the School of Communications, coordinates the Pulitzer Center relationship and developed Saltzman’s itinerary while she was at Elon. Gaither said he hopes the event reminded students of the importance of journalism.

Kenn Gaither, associate dean in the School of Communications, introduces Melanie Saltzman to students and faculty.

“The need for truthful and probing journalism that delves below surface-level issues has never been greater,” Gaither said. “The quality journalism that Saltzman produces is the lifeblood of our democracy and provides avenues for exploring solutions to some of our most vexing social issues.”

Elon is one of the Pulitzer Center’s more than 30 Campus Consortium partners, an educational initiative that brings Pulitzer Center staff and journalists to Elon’s campus twice a year. With

Elon’s membership in the consortium, students have the opportunity to work with the center on developing international reporting projects, which have been featured on the center’s website and can be disseminated through media partners.

Thanks to her selection for the Pulitzer Center Student Fellowship, Cammie Behnke ’19 embarked on a 12-day reporting trip in January to Africa. The journalism major published a project examining the economic gender reversal in post-genocide Rwanda.