Photos By: Jason Snyder
Jeremiah Hassel, Features Editor
In the information age, an era defined by technological advancement and expanding the world’s knowledge base, the business of communication and media has evolved drastically. The popularity of print publications has slowly declined as journalism steadily undergoes a transition to the digital realm, with new communication platforms essentially making the older outlets obsolete and eradicating hundreds, if not thousands, of journalistic careers nationwide.
Perhaps none have weathered the evolution of the media industry quite like Jason Snyder, a 2002 Penn State Behrend graduate, currently employed as the digital content hub editor for BH Media Group, a vast news company overseeing the operation of over 100 media outlets, both print and digital, across ten states.
Snyder kickstarted his journalistic career at Behrend, majoring in communication and media studies and minoring in political science.
During his first year at Behrend, Snyder began writing for the Behrend Beacon, earning the title of sports editor in his freshman year before moving up the ranks, becoming the editor-in-chief and holding the title through his junior year. For his senior year, Snyder ran for and won a position as a senator on the Student Government Association (SGA).
While Snyder studied at Behrend he interned for the Erie Times News. He spent one and a half to two years as a sports stringer there, gaining experience as he studied.
“I think it’s really important to do those extracurricular activities beyond your course work to allow you to build up your portfolio and work samples and all that,” said Snyder.
Snyder graduated from Behrend in 2002 with a communication degree and a minor in political science, which propelled him into his first career working for the News and Advance in Lynchburg, Virginia as a copy editor.
After staying at the News and Advance for two years, Snyder moved back to Erie, where he began a brief career at the Meadville Tribune in the sports department, writing and designing pages before being offered a position as the Erie Times News as the sports editor.
Six months later, Snyder witnessed the evolution of the industry firsthand when he was laid off from the Erie Times News. When the Meadville Tribune received word of Snyder’s predicament, they hired Snyder again, where he stayed for a few months.
Eventually, the News and Advance offered Snyder a position as the copy desk chief, where he worked on design consolidation between 22 other publications as well as the hiring and training of his 35 staff members. Snyder remained in the position until 2012, when he began working for BH Media Group, the parent company of the News and Advance.
In his current position, Snyder is responsible for finding and pushing content across all publications under the BH Media Group umbrella. He is also responsible for consolidating material online and policing the intellectual property of the organizations, essentially enforcing copyright laws across each publication.
Snyder attributes the majority of his successes to his time spent at Behrend, especially in the extracurricular activities and internship he participated in. “I credit the work I did at Behrend for being able to land a job right out of school,” said Snyder. “Behrend encouraging students to get out into the field and do the work when they’re students I think was the most valuable thing that I got.”
With regard to current, upcoming, and graduating Behrend students, Snyder encourages everyone to get as involved as possible in campus activities, above and beyond the classroom.
Snyder currently lives in Lynchburg, Virginia, with his wife, Katie Snyder, previously featured as an alumnus of Behrend, and their three children. He hopes to stay in the area with his family, enjoying the environment and area while being able to watch Behrend grow and flourish from afar.