Nelson Wadsworth: Journalism Mentor

It’s been a tough month for Nelson Wadsworth, legend of photojournalism in Utah and professor to many of the state’s journalists and photographers. If you’re friends with Nelson on Facebook, you can read his account of the bad turns of health both he and his wife Gayle are currently enduring.

A highlight of it all was an impromptu reunion of twenty or so former students.

Former Deseret News photographer Garry Bryant posted some photos of the gathering, and wrote this:

Thanking a journalism mentor was a small gathering of students that span three decades at the top three universities teaching journalism and photojournalism. The gathered students were split 50/50, several sent best wishes. Nelson shaked his head and stated, “Journalism has taken a bad turn in the past few years, & sadly photojournalism is a dead profession.”

On Facebook, Nelson says, “In retrospect on my lifetime of teaching, all I ever attempted to do was motivate students to practice the true and viable principles of journalism. I realized it was not something that could be learned out a textbook. These principles are learned when you practice them. Thus the heavy emphasis on “doing” rather than pontificating in the classroom.”

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I was fortunate to have had Nelson Wadsworth as a professor in a Depth-Reporting class at BYU. For me, he was the embodiment of what a journalist should be and strive for. He demanded excellence among those who practiced journalism and insisted that they should demand it of themselves and those they worked for. A man of rare integrity and empathy, he was always available to those who needed advice on resolving a difficult journalistic problem.

  2. I found Nelson Wadsworth’s teaching to stick with me throughout not only my journalism career but even today – positive. An amazing, memorable teacher who has knowledge, integrity and a role model to follow who notes strengths in others and helps others see and meet their goals.

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