Professional journalists inspire cherubs

Medill Cherubs watch as Tracy Butler, WLS-TV meteorologist, forecasts the weather. Photo by Carlin McCarthy

Cherubs had the opportunity to visit one of four Chicago media outlets. After the tours, students found themselves motivated to pursue journalism careers in broadcast, print and magazine journalism.

At WLS-TV, an ABC television station in Chicago, students watched a live daily broadcast from behind the scenes. The cherubs were featured on TV during the newscast.

Erin Burnett of Owings Mills, Maryland, said she has dreamed of being a broadcast journalist since the fourth grade and wanted an opportunity to see a large TV studio in person. She said she learned valuable lessons from the WLS crew and became more excited about her potential career after the trip.

“It made me feel like a kid in a candy store,” she said. “I could tangibly feel what I wanted to do. I knew I would be working in this setting in the near future.”

Cherubs spend the afternoon at the Chicago Sun-Times. Photo by Emma Edmund

Many cherubs interested in print journalism toured the Chicago Sun-Times. They met editors and reporters, including Pulitzer Prize winner and Medill alum Frank Main.

Isabel Funk of Mercer Island, Washington, said she wanted to work in print journalism after visiting the Chicago Sun-Times newsroom. She said her favorite part of the field trip was seeing the professional environment. She was surprised that the Sun-Times office was set up with rows of long desks rather than individual cubicles.

Medill cherubs listen to Wall Street Journal editor Joe Barrett. Photo by Eli Karp

At The Wall Street Journal, cherubs learned about print and online journalism.

Adam Levine from Brookeville, Maryland, said he felt more inspired to find a job in print journalism after The Wall Street Journal tour. He said journalists at the WSJ opened his mind to the kinds of journalism in which he had not expected to have any interest.

“The people we met with were into business reporting,” Levine said. “It’s an interesting field that I might consider. I always had a tiny interest in business, but I never really read business articles.”

Medill cherubs tour Chicago Magazine, which shares a building with the Chicago Tribune. Photo by Karen Springen

At Chicago Magazine, cherubs toured offices and talked to Susanna Homan, the publisher and editor-in-chief and a Medill alum. Students also met employees responsible for the website and design.

Jordan Murray, a Los Angeles native, said she now wants to actively pursue a career in magazine journalism and use what she learned from Chicago Magazine at her own school.

“I never knew how much effort went into putting together a magazine, designing cover shots and creating web content,” she said. “I thought that was really interesting.”