May 2022 Journalism News
Here’s the latest news from the Brandeis Journalism Program. Check out our upcoming events, fall 2022 course offerings, recent guest speakers, journalism opportunities and more below.
Congrats — and thank you — to our Journalism students for making it to the end of another great semester at Brandeis!
Before you take off for the summer, check out internship opportunities, recaps of guest speakers, and more below.
Congratulations to our graduating seniors! 🥳
We felt so lucky to celebrate our Journalism Program seniors at our (new) annual Hoodie Ceremony on May 9.
Our May 2022 Graduates:
Addison Antonoff, Nikki Dagen, Gilda Geist, Gavi Klein, Emma Lichtenstein, Anna Nappi, John Pyrdol, Nelly Reid, Eve Robinson, Peirce Robinson, Rachel Saal, Emerson White, and Noah Zeitlin
Still searching for a summer gig? The hunt isn’t over yet. Here are open opportunities and don’t forget to check resources before for more job boards and listservs!
Editorial Assistant, Well + Good (FT, Remote) Apply Now
Also, Social Media Intern (PT, Remote)
Editorial Intern, Algonquin (FT, Concord, NC) Apply Now
Editorial Content Strategy, WebMD (FT) Apply Now
Survey Data Journalism Intern, YouGov (PT, Remote) Apply Now
Style & Market Intern, Veranda/Hearst (FT, Birmingham, AL) Apply Now
Malala Fund Editorial Intern (PT, Remote/NY - read full description) Apply Now
Editorial Intern, BrainPOP (Remote, w/exceptions) Apply Now
Food and Dining Feature Writer, Tasting Table (Remote) Apply Now
The 19th News Fellowship (FT, Pls read full description) Apply Now
SJP’s Giant List of Job Boards: If you are searching for internships/jobs and unsure where to start, check out the Society of Journalism Professionals’ list of media career resources — including free toolboxes with even more job boards, how-to guides, and networking tools.
Rachel’s list of portfolio tips, job/internship boards, and other resources
Gregory Zuckerman ‘88: Draw the readers in, keep them interested
In a campus-wide webinar, Gregory Zuckerman returned (virtually) to his alma mater to discuss his journey into journalism and his book “A Shot to Save the World: The Inside Story of the Life-or-Death Race for a COVID-19 Vaccine,” which debuted in October.
Zuckerman has written for Wall Street Journal for 25 years, but did not expect to find a home in journalism when he was at Brandeis. (“I didn’t work on the Justice,” he quipped.) He majored in economics, and it was only by happenstance that he ended up writing for the Journal.
“I love reading about finance, I love Wall Street, and I put two and two together like, wait, you’re going to pay me to do this as a job?” he laughed.
He wrote his latest book during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and followed the development of the vaccines as the story unfolded. As Zuckerman described it, this type of “driving while the road is being built” writing made for some very stressful nights, but ultimately a great story.
While Zuckerman’s work centered on the harrowing experience of a global pandemic, he emphasized the incredible achievements of new COVID-19 vaccines. This positive outlook, Zuckerman said, helps to draw readers in and keep them interested. As he put it, “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” —Micah Siegel
Henry Abbott: Be tough, fight for change
Henry Abbott, decorated ESPN sports journalist and founder of the NBA blog “TrueHoop,” suggested Brandeis journalism students find a job where they can create the kind of work they are proud of. “If you put out so-so work, you don’t sleep well,” Abbott said in a talk with Prof Neil Swidey’s “Reinventing Journalism for the 21st Century” course. He advised that it’s vital to keep on pumping out ideas, even if many of those ideas die.
Abbott also warned that budding journalists will have to interact with plenty of people who aren’t quite so like-minded. He spoke on some of the struggles of working within a legacy organization like ESPN; according to Abbott, the older a news organization, the more likely a journalist is to run into people opposed to new things and fixes for lingering problems.
“You have to get very tough,” Abbott admitted. It can be difficult, not to mention frustrating, to jumpstart any change in a large, well-established company, and even some of the best ideas may initially be met with skepticism. Still, Abbott says that change is very possible, with lots of hard work. “Nobody likes anything in theory,” Abbott said. “But if you come in one day, and the change is real, people adjust to it really easily.” —Peirce Robinson
Rachel Martin: Take listeners behind the headlines
“There’s no one way to be a journalist,” said Rachel Martin, renowned host of Morning Edition and founding host of National Public Radio’s (NPR) award-winning morning news podcast Up First, during her visit on April 8. She answered questions from students of the “International Reporting and Global Affairs” class taught by Catherine Elton and Romesh Ratnesar on what being a radio host entails, as well as her foreign reporting experiences which range from covering human rights issues and U.S. operations in Afghanistan and Iraq to tackling racial discrimination in Hollywood.
Martin recounted how she initially wanted to pursue law, but decided to take a leap of faith and applied for an internship at NPR in San Francisco because she “just wanted to be out in the world.” She worked her way up by seizing every opportunity that came her way, including freelancing in Kabul. In journalism, she explained that news agencies are always scouting for a “curious mind” and “career trajectories are never linear.”
She also touched on balancing her time between the studio and reporting on the ground. Although intimate conversations can sometimes be achieved remotely through video calls, she stressed how thorough reporting requires “peripheral vision,” which journalists can only attain by being on site.
When asked about how she manages her feelings and opinions while conducting live interviews, Martin explained that she does not avoid having human responses during conversations because “people need to bring their own lived experiences to the interviews they’re conducting.” She feels that the most meaningful conversations happen when the person she is interviewing trusts her with something personal, like their grief. “That changes me,” she said. “It’s a real honor and responsibility to tell those stories and do right by them.” —Nashvin Kaur
Frances Robles: Be three steps ahead
Frances Robles, an investigative journalist who has covered corruption, police brutality, and natural disasters throughout her career, has a knack for taking on tough stories. “When there is a problem, I go there and figure it out, I am the jack of all trades,” she told students in “International Reporting and Global Affairs” on March 18.
Robles, a Florida-based correspondent for the New York Times, told students she often makes dozens of phone calls to verify the accuracy of her reporting and nail down sources.
She honed these skills early in her journalism career, interning for publications throughout college and getting a taste of the effort and time required to conduct deep investigations.
At the Miami Herald, she learned the importance of on the ground reporting and fact checking and was one of the paper’s lead reporters on the Trayvon Martin case. Her work as an investigative reporter has also led to more than a dozen murder convictions being overturned in Brooklyn. Robles was inducted into NAHJ’s Hall of Fame, which honors journalists whose efforts have helped to improve news coverage of the nation’s Latino community. Her parting advice to the Brandeis journalist students as they begin to embark on their final features project? “It is really important to take time to meet with people, start going to coffee, go to lunch, and talk to people,” she said “You need to ask the next question, you want to always be thinking three steps ahead.” —Lauryn Williams
Abbie Richards: People will remember the ‘fake facts’
Researcher and popular TikToker Abbie Richards shared her insights on using social media to fight online disinformation and conspiracy theories.
Richards is best known for creating the “conspiracy chart” – an inverted pyramid that ranks different conspiracy theories and their threat levels – and currently has over a half-million followers and more than five million Likes on her two-year-old TikTok account, @Tofology.
During her visit to Prof. Neil Swidey’s “Science Journalism” class on March 29, she pointed out that most users do not actively engage with every video on TikTok. “Instead of remembering why the [conspiracy theory] is false, people will just remember the fake facts.” She told the students that they should be mindful of how they talk about disinformation. “Always be careful what you put out,” Richards emphasized.
Richards believes that comedy is an effective tool in communication. Having worked in Melbourne, Australia as a stand-up comedian, she now uses that experience to craft better content. “Education should be entertaining by nature,” Richards said. She further explained that humor draws people to her content and makes her more approachable to the audience. —Jack Yuanwei Cheng
Media Access: As a Brandeis student, you have free access through our library to many newspapers and magazines, even if those publications have paywalls that make their content open only to subscribers. Here's a handy guide with links.
Aimee Slater, the librarian for the Journalism Program/ Social Sciences, has put together this guide that she has designed specifically for journalism students.
We in the journalism program would like to hear from you. Reach out to us at:
- Neil Swidey, program director: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sybil Schlesinger, administrator: email@example.com
- Rachel Raczka, assistant director for internships & outreach: firstname.lastname@example.org
Journalism Program UDRs: Jillian Brosofsky, email@example.com;
Juliana Giacone, firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Media Coordinators: Maddy DuLong, email@example.com; Scarlett Tong Ren, firstname.lastname@example.org
Aimee Slater, journalism librarian: email@example.com