The Northerner, I could go on for days about what The Northerner means to me. I’ve been lucky to be apart of the amazing organization for three years now. I was admittedly lazy my freshmen year of college, just getting used to college life. Sophomore year my life changed.
My friend, Emily, had joined The Northerner herself as a designer and she recruited me. I started writing on and off, still learning the ropes of journalism while knowing that’s exactly what I’d always wanted to do. Pretty soon I was a full-time Arts & Life Staff Reporter and loving it.
My junior year I was chosen as Arts & Life Editor, I pinpoint this as the year I truly knew journalism was my calling. I loved that year as A&L Editor, I made new friends and confidently helped the dozen or so writers under me. I continued writing on the topics I loved, the entertainment on campus, the musicians, the alumni bands and theatre programs. At the end of my junior year I was chosen to take the helm and become Editor-In-Chief.
As Editor-In-Chief Managing a staff of sections editors and many writers was incredibly rewarding for me. The most interesting and amazing opportunity I was given at The Northerner occurred in the fall of 2014.
It was announced that Focus Features was developing the film Kill the Messenger. The movie would follow the tragic story of Gary Webb, a journalist who uncovered deadly secrets about the CIA which ultimately led to his death. The thing the movie studio wasn’t talking about however was that Webb had attended and served as Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Northerner, where he had very nearly earned his bachelor’s degree.
I jumped on the opportunity to do a story. I would track down many of the people Webb had worked with at The Northerner, as well as the Kentucky Enquirer to interview. I even got the opportunity to talk to his ex-wife. All the interviewing would result in a five-part story and digital project, but that wasn’t all.
It was made aware to me, that possibly the studio would be inviting two students from The Northerner to take part in the New York City leg of the Kill the Messenger press tour. If we were invited, the university would sponsor our flight and accommodations. And then one day we were invited, in a whirlwind trip that lasted only two days. There myself, and a co-worker, would reunite with an old friend, attend a screening of the film, and interview the films director and stars, most notably actor Jeremy Renner.
The experience was incredible and final project turned out amazing, it can be seen here.
The Northerner has been the most enriching experience of my life. I made friends for life and learned valuable lessons as a journalist and individual I never would have learned anywhere else.