Wilson: Let the world know you make a difference

Wilson: Let the world know you make a difference

By Howard Spanogle

Bradley Wilson, coordinator of Student Media advising at North Carolina State University and editor of Communication: Journalism Education Today, the national magazine published by the Journalism Education Association, received the Carl Towley award at the JEA/NSPA national convention in Nashville Nov. 11.

Bradley Wilson discusses sports photography (beyond football and basketball) with a group of students at the national convention in Nashville. Photo by Ryan Tucker.

Known as the tech/graphic/photographic specialist, Wilson has been “wired” to the “new” since he began his involvement with scholastic journalism organizations in high school — an involvement that continued in college and in all his professional jobs. His contributions, obvious to JEA members, have added another link with Towley Award, JEA’s highest honor and given annually to recognize superior efforts for scholastic journalism.

“In addition to his work with C:JET magazine, [Wilson] has chaired the Technology Committee since its early days,” wrote specialist Mark Murray of Arlington, Texas. “His work at each of the national conventions is legendary…. Between teaching sessions … he coordinates the photography write-offs by helping to secure judges, coordinate the critiques and managing the judging process.”

Murray added, “His work on the website for JEA has led to a complete redesign that has made the website easier to navigate and provide greater service to the members.”

Wilson’s duties at North Carolina State University demonstrate the skills that have benefited hundreds of JEA advisers and thousands of students who have attended Bradley-led workshops. He advises the yearbook and daily newspaper as well as other university media: radio station, literary magazine, online magazine and weekly newspaper. As the coordinator, he assists students with everything from copywriting to photography to desktop publishing skills.

In addition, he supervises professional staff and manages day-to-day, non-content-related issues. Also, Wilson serves as administrative liaison between students and campus administration.

This past summer he coordinated “Student Media,” a 16-page “case study of one photo” that included 28 photographs and 17 sources, to clearly present the need for freedom of the press involving campus media activities/publicity.

His career has included extensive diversity, from photography and marketing/public relations to high-school and university classrooms. Before going to the current position in Raleigh, Wilson taught at Kansas State University and served as executive director of the National Press Photographers Association.

Foremost in his work has been his boundless enthusiasm and his unceasing energy as well as his commitment to help everyone achieve the highest results in their endeavors.

“His youthful exuberance has motivated and inspired untold numbers of students and young advisers,” said writer Bobby Hawthorne of Austin, Texas. “His expertise, particularly in terms of technology is unsurpassed, matched only by his generosity in sharing the product of his labor.”

In his luncheon acceptance speech, Wilson shared his dream list for successful journalism education:

  • Local media must provide valuable support.
  • Press associations must offer resources.
  • School boards should seek only qualified journalism teachers — an equal treatment issue for this field.
  • Advisers must push for achievement with adequate support from the school administration.
  • Schools must change from giving “almost nothing” as they recognize that CNN and other media always rely on student publications for photos and historical records.
  • Advisers must function as members of a global community by serving the public and colleagues and by emphasizing diverse staffs and sources.
  • Advisers must use JEA resources to improve the professional potential.
  • Advisers must write for local, state, regional and national publications, including C:JET.

“In summary, what do advisers need to do?” Wilson asked. “Make a difference,” he answered. “I know you do. Now let the world know it.”


  • think and play. Eileen Regen (retired state director, Sugar Hill, N.H.)
  • enthusiasm and new friends. Steve Matson (Charles Wright Academy, Tacoma, Wash.)
  • understand photography technobabble. Linda Barrington (Mount Mary College, Milwaukee, Wis.)
  • see another side of the story and to always ask the tough questions. Mark Newton (Grand Junction HS, Colo.)
  • write with passion and compassion, to forget there are censors and to always seek the high road. Holly McDermott (Mary E. Moss Academy, Annapolis, Md.)
  • friendship and energy beyond belief. Judy Babb (Lifetouch, Dallas, Texas)
  • unstoppable enthusiasm and to heartfelt love of visual communications. Terry Nelson (Muncie Central HS, Ind.) fabulous fotography and unending laughter. Deanne Brown (Westlake HS, Austin, Texas)
  • Longhorns and Psychofreakcomputergenius. Dow Tate (Shawnee Mission East HS, Prairie Village, Kan.) the entire LISTSERV, to sage advice and to know-how. Lori Oglesbee (McKinney HS, Texas)
  • change for growth, to service for colleagues and to fearlessness. Sandy Hall-Chiles (Yavneh Academy, Dallas, Texas)
  • Bradley is journalism education’s Eveready Bunny — a livewire from the moment he rises until long after Letterman signs off. Some advisers excel in one or two areas as instructors — Bradley has mastered them all. John Haley Scott (Thomas Downey HS, Modesto, Calif.)
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