To those wondering if there is a future in journalism, I say yes. I can see it sitting in our newsroom.
College students, their parents and others sometimes tell me they’re concerned, in the midst of this economic turmoil, that there are no jobs available for aspiring journalists.
Ironically, at least for The News Tribune, the opposite has happened. When we posted job openings over the past year, we received fewer résumés than normal from veteran journalists. Especially those with families were reluctant to move in these uncertain times. That has created good opportunities for hungry young journalists.
Because of these forces, the TNT recruiting Class of 2010 is a young one. It also is a strong one.
• Jordan Schrader started Jan. 25 as our statehouse reporter. Five days later we published his first front-page story, and he has bylined more than 200 stories since then. In addition to writing about budget wrangling in Olympia, he covered the Patty Murray/Dino Rossi Senate race. We hired Schrader from the Asheville Citizen-Times, where he covered the North Carolina Legislature and only four years out of college was the president of the North Carolina Capitol Press Corps. Expect him to lead our coverage of the upcoming legislative session.
• Jessica Randklev moved back home to become our staff artist. She graduated from Olympic High School near Silverdale and worked for several years at the Kitsap Sun in Bremerton before moving to RedEye in Chicago and then to Newsday on Long Island. Randklev is a newshound with great talent and range. She has illustrated most of our GO section covers and built charts that helped make sense of complicated stories. Her biggest project was a full-page graphic showing how the forces of nature are threatening the roads in Mount Rainier National Park.
• Stacia Glenn walked in the door one day looking for a job that would allow her to live closer to her significant other. Thankfully she came equipped with the skills, the drive and the fearlessness required to be our night cops reporter. Glenn was the public safety reporter for The San Bernardino County (Calif.) Sun for six years, where she also led the paper’s multimedia department. Her story Thursday about the woman who followed delivery trucks in Gig Harbor, stealing packages, is typical of her work. She gets a routine tip and talks to enough people to turn it into an interesting front-page story.
• Christian Hill came to us from The Olympian, where he covered the military and local government. That combination made him a perfect candidate for covering Lakewood, Gig Harbor and other suburban communities. Hill is productive, community-oriented and tenacious. Even before joining our staff, we helped coordinate his embed with a local Air Force crew flying a relief mission to Haiti. Expect to see more Hill stories about the intersections between the military and the community, such as the effects of exploding growth at Joint Base Lewis-McChord on local traffic, schools and cities.
• Adam Ashton, in his first seven years as a reporter, distinguished himself as a strong watchdog over local governments in California. While at The Modesto Bee, Ashton twice worked from the McClatchy Newspaper bureau in Baghdad, writing about soldiers, politics and the everyday life of Iraqi citizens. From that came his desire to cover the military exclusively. He joined us in September, just in time to cover the legal proceedings of 12 Stryker soldiers accused of committing crimes in Afghanistan. He’s also found interesting stories such as his October piece about a smart phone application that helps traumatized soldiers track their moods.
• Sara Schilling’s strength is in writing about people and their daily lives. Schilling worked for six years at the Tri-City Herald, where she won a national award for a story about a hospice worker facing his own battle with cancer. Schilling is covering East Pierce County communities for us, including Puyallup, Sumner and Bonney Lake. You might remember her touching front-page story about the recovery of Richelle Heacock, paralyzed last year in a car accident while driving home for the memorial of Pierce County sheriff’s deputy Kent Mundell.
So yes, I am optimistic about the future for aspiring journalists. They are stepping into important jobs in our newsroom.
To a person, our Class of 2010 is smart, passionate and excited about the future. They want to be journalists, and they want to be here. That makes me optimistic about the future of the TNT, as well.
Karen Peterson: 253-597-8434 email@example.com