Television news reporter Jared Pelletier is the winner of an Associated Press award for a news feature he made before graduating from Suffolk University a year ago. Pelletier, who reports for WDTV-Channel 5 in Bridgeport, West Virginia, is the recipient of the 2014 Massachusetts/Rhode Island Associated Press award for Best Collegiate Feature Reporting.
“It was definitely a pleasant surprise,” he said. “Any time you get recognition from the Associated Press, it reinforces the fact that you did a good job, which makes me proud.”
Pelletier’s winning entry, “Historic Snow Storm in Boston,” focused on the February 8-9, 2013, blizzard that blanketed the city with more than two feet of snow and kept most people home.
Not Pelletier. The senior broadcast journalism major sensed a good story in the making. As a member of the Suffolk U News team, he grabbed his television camera, notepad and pen and hit the streets.
“It was a significant storm in terms of snow accumulation, and I realized local news has a huge focus on severe weather,” he said. “I took it on as a challenge to give myself some hands-on experience regarding what it would be like to cover weather. I knew it would be something I’d do regularly in the real world.”
Pelletier’s 90-second piece, which he shot and produced himself, looked at three major aspects of the storm: the beginning, the cleanup, and the return to the daily routine. It included a series of clear and powerful images and interviews from the general public and Suffolk students.
“The way he married pictures to words is what impressed me the most,” said Professor Dana Rosengard of the Department of Communication & Journalism, who is executive producer of Suffolk U News. “He nailed it beautifully.”
“Jared is a wonderful example of the “can-do” attitude of our students,” said department Chair Robert Rosenthal. “We are justifiably proud of Jared’s accomplishment and of our faculty who have trained and mentored him.”
Suffolk U News has now won three Associated Press awards in as many years.
“My Suffolk U experience was incredible,” said Pelletier. “We worked hard and learned how to be aggressive, respectful, passionate, and get the job done right. We had an amazing team and still keep in touch to this day.”
Today, Pelletier’s typically works fast-paced 10-hour days. He is a jack of all trades, responsible for everything from script writing, shooting video, and editing footage to delivering news.
He said that his Suffolk education “prepared me to step into the professional world of broadcast on day one.”
Pelletier advises those hoping to enter the competitive broadcast TV job market to seize the moment.
“Don’t sit and wait for your opportunity to come to you, because your shot will pass you by,” he said. “You can’t be afraid to get out there, reach out to a place you want to work, and do your job to the best of your ability.”