Several dozen BCCC students joined three local journalists in the Rollins Center Thursday morning for its 20th annual round table discussion on the industry.

Students listen to Tom Sofield speak at a round table discussion. Photo courtesy of Professor Tony Rogers.

Journalism Professor Tony Rogers packed everyone into the Centurion newsroom for the second and final day. The space is home to the community college’s student driven paper.

Rogers uses the forum as a time to give students an inside look into how journalism works in the modern age. He called the round table discussion “a really great way for our students to get a sense of what a career in journalism is really like, and how to break into the business.”

Thursday’s panel featured several names from the Lower Bucks region: Bucks County Courier Times and Intelligencer reporter Marion Callahan, LevittownNow.com Publisher Tom Sofield, and WBCB 1490 AM News Director Rick Rickman.

Callahan is an experienced professional who has taught journalism in a class room setting and worked in a conflict zone for Stars and Stripes. She featured an award winning piece giving an inside look into Kensington and the opioid crisis with Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick. Callahan focused on speaking and writing about people and their stories.

Sofield has the unique position of being both an entrepreneur and editor in the industry. He started LevittownNow.com in 2013, and more recently NewtownPANow.com. Sofield spoke about his coverage of the Solebury Slayings involving Cosmo DiNardo and Sean Kratz.

Rickman spoke about his experience producing on-air newscasts and an average day in broadcast journalism.

All three fielded questions from students, including the editing process, interviewing family members during tragedies, and the adrenaline of meeting a deadline.

Wednesday’s panel included:

  • Shane Fitzgerald, regional executive editor, GateHouse Media
  • Dana O’Neil, senior writer, the Athletic
  • Mike Sielski, sports columnist, Philadelphia Inquirer