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Published:March 14th, 2014 17:52 EST
A Brief Moment in Time: An Interview with Judyth Piazza

A Brief Moment in Time: An Interview with Judyth Piazza

By Derek Sanders

Drive and determination are valuable qualities that a person can have as a journalist. As the founder and CEO of the Student Operated Press and host of the American Perspective radio show, Judyth Piazza has shown that these are the qualities that she possesses.

Piazza first became interested in becoming a writer when she was young, writing poems and short stories. Her interest focused on journalism when she became fascinated with how stories were portrayed on the news. So, she was very young when she decided she wanted to become a reporter. Piazza said, recalling her past, "When most little girls were asking their parents for Barbie and Ken dolls for Christmas, I was asking my parents for Peter Parker and Clarke Kent dolls."

She has written articles for many online newspapers, building up a portfolio of news stories. While attending classes at Indian River Community College, she sought to gain work experience from the local newspaper, The Press Journal, but there were no positions open, no internship program, and they did not allow job shadowing. She kept asking until they finally responded to her and she was able to write feature articles for a sister newspaper, The Sebastian Sun, one of the oldest newspapers in Florida.

This love of telling news stories transitioned into her creation of the Student Operated Press in 2005. At the time, she was taking online classes. With some help from a friend and mentor, Bruce Calder who was a web developer, she designed the software for the website. They used concepts from online and print newspapers to build an online news content management system that allows interns and writers to submit articles to the site. 

"Everything is online," Piazza answered when asked if the SOP had a headquarters or newsroom. The headquarters is based in Houston, but everything is online. We only have a small staff in place in the office."

Her current journalistic ventures extend offline too. On her radio show, the American Perspective, she has interviewed many celebrities including Maya Angelou, Dean Koontz, and Jane Lynch just to name a few. The radio show started as a result of a friend asking her to take over a political debate show while she was working as a news anchor for a  local TV news station while she was still attending the University of Central Florida. Piazza said yes because she thought it would be a great way to drive traffic to theSOP. After many hours of not being interested in politics she decided to put together a radio script about success and that is when the American Perspective came to life. 

"I really enjoyed interviewing Yolanda King," Piazza said about interviewing the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was not Piazza`s first interview, but she did say that it was one of the ones she found the most memorable. " I feel like I am a part of history now." During an interview, Piazza speaks casually and tries to make a connection with the people she speaks with. This has led to her having engaging conversations with the people she interviews and allows her to learn more about them. 

Another of the memorable people she interviewed was John Palumbo, a person Piazza described as "The Investment Gambler", who purchases unusual investments to make money from them at a later date. He currently owns the Alex Haley estate and all of Johnny Cash`s records. It`s kind of captivating so it draws you in," she said about Palumbo`s story.

Piazza encourages people to follow their dreams and work towards their aspirations. She achieved her position at the SOP because of the passion that she holds for the work she does. "When you love what you do, it doesn`t feel like work," Piazza said.