CJA associate board offers first field trip for aspiring broadcast and financial journalists

Angie Miles: TV and financial journalist Angela Miles shows the group a rundown of her stories for the day. Photo credit: Stephanie Choporis

The Chicago Journalists Association’s associate board held its first field trip to the Chicago Board Options Exchange Friday, Feb. 3, to gain advice from veteran financial and TV journalist Angela Miles.

A small group of aspiring and professional journalists took a tour of the trading floor, watched Miles shoot a standup for her TV show, “Business First AM,” and participated in a Q & A session.

“I wanted to start offering activities besides networking events, and this sounded like a wonderful opportunity,” said CJA associate board chairman Stephanie Choporis. “Since Angie has experience covering different topics, you can learn a lot from her, even if you’re not particularly interested in financial journalism.”

For the past 14 years, Miles has covered business news and launched “Business First AM” in September 2015. The show now airs in roughly 60 TV markets, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Houston. She was previously an MSNBC correspondent during the 2003-2004 presidential primary campaign and a CelebTV.com producer.

“I wouldn’t take that part of my life away for anything,” Miles said of her time in entertainment news. She explained how there is an even greater rush to break entertainment information and thinks that helped her handle the speed of changing markets in business news.

Angie Miles Group: Angela Miles (center) poses with CJA associate board directors (right) and other aspiring/professional journalists. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Choporis.

For students planning to pursue a broadcast career, she recommended starting in radio. This teaches efficiency, production skills as well as good vocal delivery. She also told her guests to be aggressive, even if that means shooting a story with an iPad and lavalier microphone.

“For every 10 news directors who like you, there’s going to be 10 who don’t,” Miles said. She encouraged aspiring journalists to keep searching until they find the directors who admire their work.

But her most important piece of advice focused on writing.

“Your writing is everything in this industry,” she said, and added that students can find a job if they write well.

The associate board is also scheduled to host its first workshop later this month. Details are to be announced soon.

The board currently consists of roughly 15 college students and recent graduates from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, DePaul University, Columbia College Chicago, Augustana College, Southern Illinois University and North Central College. Membership is free.

Students or recent graduates interested in joining should contact Choporis at stephanie@chicagocja.wpcomstaging.com for more information.