A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a breaking news reporter, a White House writer and a foreign correspondent were some of the guest speakers who helped cherubs find or assess their interest in journalism over the four-week program.
Current cherub Eliana Rosen of North Caldwell, New Jersey, affirmed she liked reporting outside of her high school newsroom, she said.
“My mom jokes that when I say, ‘Journalism,’ my face lights up, and I felt like this assured me that that’s really true,” Rosen said. “A lot of the ethics lectures made me realize that there are going to be some hard decisions to make and difficult struggles.”
Cherubs watched their Northwestern-Medill Journalism Institute community and academic advisers face some of these challenges as they covered hazing in the Northwestern football program for the student newspaper. Their reporting showed “the impact that you can have,” Rosen said.
Before the program, Raju Rawal from Middleton, Wisconsin, planned to major in journalism and possibly work in the field, she said.
“Especially as I became editor of my school paper, I felt more confident in choosing journalism as my career,” Rawal said. “So, before coming here, I definitely thought this would reinforce that belief, and coming out of here, I’d be like, ‘Yes, I’m going to be a journalist.’”
But Rawal’s mindset changed when she learned more about reporters’ lifestyles, especially after Wall Street Journal reporter Erin Ailworth discussed long commutes and wearing firefighters’ protective gear to cover disasters.
“We’ve been exposed to the realities of the career while we were here,” Rawal said. “But after seeing different newsrooms and seeing the demands of the job and what my day-to-day life could be, I’m definitely interested in exploring other topics.”
Rosen also said parts of the career would be challenging. She learned that foreign reporting is too stressful for her by listening to Gary Marx, a former Chicago Tribune investigative writer, talk about his experiences. But, she likes political journalism, and White House correspondent Tyler Pager reaffirmed her passion, Rosen added.
“Obviously being a White House correspondent would be the coolest thing,” Rosen said. “It’s something that my interest had been sparked in prior to cherubs. But I think [listening to Pager] really spurred my interest in seeing what he was able to do.”
Rosen knows more about the field after cherubs, she said — both the pros and cons.
“I definitely know that I want to go into journalism and am aware that it’s not going to be a super easy path or a super easy career,” Rosen said. “But it’s going to be rewarding, and I’m really going to do something that I love.”