If you look at the Carroll County Times newspaper, you won’t see the name “Brian Compere” anywhere. At the same time, if you know what Brian does, you will know his name is all over it.
Brian, who is one of News Media Alliance’s Rising Stars, is a night editor at Baltimore Sun Media Group, where he has worked for almost two and a half years. At only 25 years old, he helps with final decisions before the paper goes out in the mornings. At night, he tackles how to cover breaking news, layout and format options as well as any other decisions that need to be made in the absence of the daytime editor-in-chief.
Although Brian is now passionate about news – describing himself as “fully immersed” – he says he was never one of those kids who ran around interviewing neighbors or had nightly dreams of a career in journalism. It wasn’t until he was applying to college that he realized what his passion really was.
Brian had always been comfortable in the newsroom setting that he had experienced as a high school student. After his acceptance to the University of Maryland-College Park, he started exploring the news media field right off the bat. He credits the preparation provided by his school for the success he has seen as a young person in the industry. Through experimenting with copy editing, reporting, and other news media sectors in the classes offered by the highly-accredited Philip Merrill College of Journalism, Brian latched on to editing.
Once he graduated college, Brian started an internship with the Tampa Bay Times. Here, he was a Dow Jones copy editing intern for ten months. He then returned to his home state of Maryland where he began working with the Carroll County Times, a part of the Baltimore Sun Media Group. Here he was the night editor, where he helped with breaking news, social media and eventually editing and design work.
“This was a huge stepping stone in my life,” says Brian. “When the editor left for the night, I was in charge.”
From deciding how to present news during the Oscars to Baltimore Orioles’ games, Brian’s work leaves him with a sense of purpose. He believes it is crucial to have more people reading the news. By encouraging consumers to digest news outside of their comfortable source, it will result in more informed readers. Brian says this is especially relevant in a time like today.
“Now, the President is calling the media the enemy of the people,” Brian says. “It’s especially important to remember journalism is a key component of our American democracy and society in general.”
One thing Brian is certain about is the need for restoration of trust in the news media industry. He believes this can be done through more candidness and transparency by news organizations.
“Everyone thinks they know about journalism since everyone encounters it,” says Brian. “But media literacy is not in a good place. People don’t know how news organizations work, like how they choose their stories or how they treat their sources.”
He wants to see more openness from news organizations in the future. An example being reporters on Twitter and podcasts, which he says is a different way to get through to readers.
Brian believes restoring trust in the news media will help the industry overcome the challenges it is currently facing.