Nick Massella '07 Named Editor of FishbowlDC
May 28, 2014
Along with interviewing author Arianna Huffington, covering the 2014 White House Correspondents Association festivities and making a courageous move to Washington D.C., Nick Massella ‘07 can now add being named editor of FishbowlDC to his long list of accomplishments.
After a few months of consistent writing for the site as a contributor, Massella, former media studies major at the University of Mount Union, seized the opportunity to become editor of FishbowlDC, Mediabistro’s political and media news and gossip site. Along with the new title, he gained additional responsibility, including the task of populating the site each day with information of interest to Washington, D.C. media.
Getting to interview a wide range of accomplished and interesting people is just one aspect of Massella’s career that he loves. Two such subjects at the top of his list include journalist Tina Brown and “the guy whose tweet almost foiled the raid on Osama bin Laden.” However, Massella’s enthusiasm for journalism rises off the charts when covering stories that are “salacious or gossipy.”
“I really enjoy stories that get people talking,” said Massella. “I recently wrote about how I was accidently uninvited to a small private dinner with Arianna Huffington. I wrote about it jokingly because why on earth would Arianna Huffington want to have dinner with me? It ended up getting a bunch of laughs.”
The number one lesson Massella took away from his college education is the importance of being well-informed. Holding numerous public relations positions in D.C. over the past eight years made it crucial for him to stay on top of a variety of industries, including politics, media, international affairs and higher education.
“The key to any job in the media is a solid understanding of the current events, especially those related to your industry,” said Massella. “Staying on top of all of them is time consuming, but essential if you want to be successful. It shouldn’t just be a professional responsibility, but should also be of personal interest.”
Massella was grateful for his internship in the PR shop at Salem Community Hospital, but after moving to D.C., he quickly realized he was competing against graduates with an average of three internships under their belts.
Along with applying for internships, Massella stressed the importance of networking. He stated a combination of luck and connections formed at Mount Union is what jumpstarted his own career.
“Sarah Freeman ‘05, who graduated from my program two years before me, shared with a friend, who was already working in D.C., a job that ended up being my first position in Washington,” Massella said. “Network your face off! And stay in touch with your network. It’s obnoxious to only hear from people when they need something, so check in twice a year, and when you do need help with something, people will be more receptive.”
Additional advice to college graduates: avoid being too professional. Wait, what? Professionalism is key, no? According to Massella, when seeking to land a job, personality is what’s essential.
“Be professional, but also realize people want to work with someone they like, not someone who comes across as staunchy,” he said.
Leaving Mount Union also meant leaving behind a cafeteria that consistently prepares food and takes care of the leftover mess – something Massella admits his own kitchen is missing out on. However, what he loved most about Mount Union was his academic program, along with professors and classmates who turned into wonderful friends.
As far as making future plans, right now Massella is only focused on which new restaurant or bar he and his buddies will be checking out in D.C. over the weekend.
“My job now is one that I’ve wanted for years, so I plan on enjoying it for some time,” he said.