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Dean-to-be Sarah Bartlett Discusses Her Vision for the CUNY J-School On Sept. 30, the CUNY Board of Trustees, acting on the enthusiastic recommendation of Interim Chancellor William P. Kelly, named Sarah Bartlett the next dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She will succeed Founding Dean Stephen B. Shepard on Jan. 1, 2014. Bartlett, who heads the Urban Reporting Program, is a charter member of the faculty and has been involved with almost every facet of the J-School’s operations since we opened in 2006. In addition to creating and staffing the urban and business/economics subject concentrations, she sat on the admissions and curriculum committees, launched the Center for Community and Ethnic Media, raised nearly $2 million, and was the principal writer of the five-year strategic plan. She has extensive journalism experience across media platforms, and has written two books. [See Dean’s Corner, page 3.] On Oct. 10, Bartlett sat down for a Q&A session with InsideStory Editor Amy Dunkin.

education, offering an executive degree program, and creating a summer intensive program for international students and others. Tell us your ideas about recruiting faculty and staff. All too often we recruit in a hurry, in response to someone moving to a different job or leaving the school. I want to be much more proactive by developing a talent scout approach. I’d like to invite everyone to send me names of people we can reach out to in advance so that when we have a specific need, we already have a diverse pool of talent we can tap. Talk about your role as a fundraiser. I am pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy fundraising. It was a genuine reaction to meeting with foundations and individual donors as we were raising money for the Community and Ethnic Media Center. There’s something very appealing about spending a couple of hours talking to someone about the work we’re doing, watching them get excited, and listening to them offer ways to help. I love nothing more than opening an envelope and finding a check inside.

What made you want to be a journalist? My interest stems from working with a documentary filmmaker as his research assistant fresh out of graduate school. I got to travel all over the world with a film crew and when I would return from a trip, I would feel compelled to write up my experiences. It made me realize I wanted to be a journalist. When did you know you wanted to be the next dean, and why did you take on the challenge? A couple of years ago, when Steve [Shepard] began discussing the possibility of retiring, it dawned on Sarah Bartlett me there would be a new job opening up. At that time, I had started working on creating the Center for Community and Ethnic Media. I was doing fundraising and discovered how much I liked getting people on the outside interested in our work. My interest in becoming dean was a combination of being at the J-School from the beginning, building two subject concentrations, participating in curriculum development, creating a new center, and helping to write the strategic plan. I had a lot of ideas about the role our school plays in our urban environment and the development of the journalism profession. So I decided to throw my hat in the ring.

Describe your management style. I try to be very open and transparent about my thinking, to explain goals clearly, and to give people room to do their jobs. I also try to hold them accountable for meeting those goals. I try to be very inclusive and invite diverse opinions. I want to build an esprit de corps so people feel invested in a common purpose.

“We’re one of the top journalism graduate schools in the country, and I would love to make us No. 1.”

Reveal something about yourself that nobody knows. I know how to mix a mean batch of concrete. I can build foundations and lay bricks. I renovated for seven years of my life. I dug all the ditches for our first house in lower Manhattan. n


What are your priorities for the J-School? I feel that the school is already in a very strong place. We’re one of the top journalism graduate schools in the country, and I would love to make us No. 1. We need to build on all our strengths – our commitment to being innovative, our strong faculty, our diversity – and find ways to turn up the dial. I’m eager to see the ideas in the strategic plan get implemented. We need to build into the curriculum more career development skills that focus on freelancing and entrepreneurship. We also need to pursue key opportunities for growth – by expanding online

What words of encouragement can you give to our students as they prepare to enter a changing profession? I continue to feel that it’s one of the most exciting times to be in journalism. The number of outlets publishing stories and the ways to tell quality stories are growing. The battle the profession is having with the U.S. government now is a wonderful example of how important journalism is to a functioning democracy. It’s a difficult business to be in. If you want to make a lot of money, you wouldn’t choose journalism. But that was true when I was starting out. If you’re talented and work hard, if you’re a strong reporter and a producer of innovative stories, you will be successful. Plenty of our alums are out there proving that.

2 New Business Journalism Center • Egyptian Journalist in Residence • 3 On the Job with Almudena Toral • Dean’s Corner 4 Donor List • Remembering Harold W. McGraw, Jr. 5 Interns Around the World 6 Raising a “Beatle Baby” Book • Alumni News


vol . 8 , no . 1

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Publishing Family Endows New Business Journalism Center


s part of the fallout from a decade’s worth of changes in the media, many news organizations no longer have the resources to tackle long, complex business and economics stories. To help reverse the slide in coverage of these issues, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism will establish the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Center for Business Journalism to support veteran reporters and train students entering the field. The new Center will be financed by a $3 million gift from the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Family Foundation, started in 2010 by Suzanne, Terry, and Bob McGraw. They are the children of the former chairman and CEO of McGraw-Hill, a publishing and financial services company that owned BusinessWeek magazine for 80 years. The Center will also receive support from the City University of New York and the CUNY GraduExecutive Director Jane Sasseen ate School of Journalism. “My father loved business, journalism, and education,” said Harold “Terry” McGraw III, chairman and CEO of McGraw Hill Financial. “We are thrilled to create the Center in his name to preserve his special legacy and to benefit the vital work of business reporters.” Harold McGraw, Jr. died in 2010 at age 92. [See profile, page 4.] A primary goal of the Center is to commission serious business and economics stories from accomplished journalists. It will pay McGraw Fellows a stipend of around $7,500 a month for three to six months of work, resulting in a distinguished piece of long-form business journalism to be published on the Center’s website or in collaboration with media partners. To promote the development of future business journalists, the Center will also fund scholarships for students who choose the CUNY J-School’s business/economics reporting concentration and provide stipends for those who undertake a summer internship in business news.

Finally, as part of its mission to serve the greater professional community, the Center will hold an annual conference on a subject important to business writers and editors. It will also offer continuing education workshops on a variety of topics, such as the use of social media in business reporting or how to mine databases to find story ideas. Veteran business journalist Jane Sasseen will serve as executive director, starting Jan. 1, 2014. In addition to selecting reporting projects to be funded by the Center, she will work on her own stories. Sasseen was a senior editor and national correspondent at BusinessWeek, editor-in-chief of the politics and opinion channel at Yahoo! News, and is currently a visiting professor in the Global Business Journalism Program at Tsinghua University in Beijing. She majored in economics at the University of California, Berkeley, from which she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

A primary goal of the Center is to commission serious business and economic stories from accomplished journalists. The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism is the natural home for a business journalism center. It already offers a business/economics reporting concentration for students who want a career in business journalism or simply seek to gain expertise in economics, financial markets, and how companies work. In addition, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) holds its annual fall conference at the J-School. “The Center will enhance our programs and allow both current and future business journalists to devote themselves fully to the art and science of business reporting,” said Dean Stephen B. Shepard, who spent 20 years as editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek. The Center for Business Journalism, which was approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees at a meeting on Sept. 30, will become the third specialty center housed at the CUNY J-School. The others are the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism and the Center for Community and Ethnic Media. n

The Agony of an Egyptian Journalist On June 4, Egyptian newspaper editor and TV commentator Yehia Ghanem was sentenced to two years in prison with hard labor after a series of raids against foreign non-governmental organizations in Egypt. Ghanem’s crime: working for just two months with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), training journalists in post-revolution Egypt. The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the Committee to Protect Journalists have given Ghanem an academic refuge in the form of a year-long fellowship, which began in August. Ghanem faces prison should he return to Egypt, where his wife and three children remain. 2011 graduate Carmel Delshad spoke with Ghanem for the J-School’s online publication, 219 Magazine. Here are excerpts from their conversation. When did you find out there were legal issues complicating your work with ICFJ? The first time was in September 2011, two weeks after I joined ICFJ. I thought it was just a routine thing. There was a lawyer taking care of the legal problems with the foreign affairs office and I said okay. You were accused of accepting illegal foreign funding. What sort of evidence did the prosecution produce? I was accused of taking $3 million. They didn’t produce any evidence. It’s a sheer lie. I had to come up with the proof that I didn’t take anything. I remember there were problems in transferring money for the office, even before they hired me. So I came up with a solution: Okay, I’ll pay it from my own account until these things are sorted out. Until I was referred to criminal court, ICFJ owed me three months of rent, and that’s what I said to the court.


In total, 43 NGO workers, Egyptian and foreign, were charged with receiving illegal funding. Why do you think this happened to ICFJ and the other NGOs? I believe that one of the main reasons is that there was a vendetta somewhere, that somebody in the government felt betrayed. The remaining pillars of the former regime felt betrayed by the U.S.A. first and foremost. I heard that many of them thought the U.S.A. betrayed and sold out [former President Hosni] Mubarak and his regime.

Yehia Ghanem

What was it like going through the trial? You can’t imagine the kind of mean, dirty, low, character-defamation campaign waged against us. I’m well known to everyone as a regular guest on TV shows, and I wrote for the last 25 years, so I got the real brunt of the campaign. My contact information and address were leaked to the media, and I would end up with people asking for revenge against the “U.S. agent.” The whole atmosphere was so poisoned. It was torture. How has the trial affected your family? I told my kids, “Don’t discuss or defend me, don’t answer if anyone says anything.” My eldest son, it was too much for him, he tried to defend his father – not physically, but his classmates responded physically. They tied him up and they broke both of his arms.

When did you first hear about the verdict? On June 3, I was in D.C., and I was heading back home to Egypt to celebrate the acquittal I expected. Before I traveled, ICFJ said they were having a board meeting and asked me to give a speech. I had planned to leave D.C. on June 12, but then it hit me: I am a convict. I’m stuck until the appeal, and the hearing still has to be set. How has the trial affected you? It’s a very tough test. I thought that I had seen the worst, in prisons, Afghanistan, Taliban, Congo, and frankly, this is my worst. I feel like I’m hanging in the air between heaven and earth. There’s no ground. I have a feeling that I will end up in one of those cells, but what else can I do? I’m paying something that I don’t owe. n


Do you think your previous work angered someone in the government and left them with a vendetta against you? It seems that someone is very upset with me. I am the only defendant who

proved with documents beyond any doubt that at the time when they started the investigation, I hadn’t had the chance to start working. Assume, yes, I was about to commit a crime by training journalists. Assume this was a crime and a bad thing. But I hadn’t done it. I hadn’t even had the chance. You know what the judge did? He laughed. He said it’s a good point. Yet he gave me a sentence of two years with hard labor. This is the kind of justice we have back home.




Passing the Torch


with Almudena Toral ’10 adrid native Almudena Toral came to CUNY in 2009 convinced she’d go on to become a longform print journalist. “I bought a 13-inch laptop, thinking I’d use it to write,” she said. But a funny thing happened on her way through the master’s program here: She fell in love with video. What’s more, she discovered she was very good at it. Several internships and paid stints at The New York Times and Time magazine later, she has cobbled together a career of freelance video work, professional fellowships, and now teaching and coaching at the CUNY J-School. This semester has been particularly eventful. Along with fellow ’10 alum Samantha Stark, she co-taught the fiveweek New York Times-Style Video module. Then she took off for Tanzania on an International Reporting Project fellowship to investigate food scarcity, hunger, and nutrition. While she was overseas, she learned she was part of a Times video team that won a 2013 News & Documentary Emmy Award for a series on a young woman with leukemia. Oh, and this all came six months after she received the 2013 Multimedia Photographer of the Year Award of Excellence from Pictures of the Year International. Toral believes she has benefited from the growing demand for journalists who are creative and even artistic in their storytelling. And now she’s finally ready to trade up to a more powerful laptop with a larger screen. ■

William P. Kelly Interim Chancellor, The City University of New York

Stephen B. Shepard Founding Dean Judith Watson Associate Dean


Norman Pearlstine

Publisher of the New York Post

Chief Content Officer at Time Inc.

Dean Baquet

Howard Rubenstein

Managing Editor of The New York Times

President of Rubenstein Associates

Merrill Brown

Vivian Schiller

Director, School of Communications and Media Montclair State University

Chief Digital Officer of NBC News Elizabeth Vargas “20/20” Anchor, ABC News

David Carey President of Hearst Magazines

David Westin

Ken Kurson

Mark Whitaker

Editor of The New York Observer

Former Managing Editor of CNN Worldwide and Former Editor of Newsweek

Adam Moss Editor-in-Chief of New York Magazine

Michael Oreskes Senior Managing Editor at the Associated Press John Paton CEO of Digital First Media

CEO of News Licensing Group

Matthew Winkler Editor-in-Chief of Bloomberg News

Mortimer Zuckerman Chairman and Publisher of the New York Daily News and U.S. News & World Report


VOL . 8 ,more NO . 1information For

John Smock Photographer Nancy Novick Designer

“I relished the chance to build a school that would help a struggling profession.”

about the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, go to our website:

FALL 2013


Amy Dunkin Editor Marisa Osorio Reporter


he expected her to pay back. So Sarah decided to go to s we ring in 2014, I shall step down as founding school in England, where the public universities charged dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. very modest tuition and where she could gain her It has been nearly nine years since I walked degree in three years instead of four. Off she went to the into CUNY headquarters to begin planning University of Sussex, where she earned a B.A. in political a new graduate school of journalism, the first science and a Master’s degree in development studies. publicly supported program of its kind in the Northeast, And, yes, she repaid her father’s loan. a school that would open opportunities for a talented, After graduation, she worked as a researcher for a diverse group of students. Starting from scratch at a moment of critical disruption for the journalism profession, Dutch filmmaker who was making TV documentaries on development in third world countries. For the next we wanted to create a new school for a new era. That meant 2½ years, Sarah travelled the world – to Jamaica, the combining the eternal verities of traditional journalism – in-depth reporting, fine writing, critical thinking, and ethical values – with all the digital skills of the interactive, multimedia world. With the indispensible help of Associate Dean Judith Watson from Day 1, we have succeeded beyond my most ambitious musings, fulfilling the mandate of then-Chancellor Matthew Goldstein: Build one of the best graduate programs in the world. “I don’t want just another journalism school,” he told me. We are now competing with the best schools for students, faculty, and grants. Our curriculum is on the cutting edge, and we are the only school I know of that pays students to undertake summer internships. We have launched a book imprint and three academic centers: for entrepreneurial journalism, for ethnic media, and for business journalism. Best of all: More than 90% of our graduates are working The founding dean and his successor in the profession. Philippines, the Bahamas, Chile, and other hot spots. She provided background research for six documentaries and began freelancing pieces on economic development issues. “I loved the writing,” she recalls. Back in the U.S. after eight years abroad, she signed on as a researcher at Fortune magazine, then joined BusinessWeek in 1983, writing stories about finance and Wall Street. Five years later she moved to The New As a graduate of City College, I feel privileged to York Times, where, among other things, she covered the have served as founding dean of the CUNY J-School. I leveraged buyout craze of the early 1990s, later writing identified with the mission of access and excellence and a book called “The Money Machine,” which penetrated relished the chance to build a school that would help a the world of Henry Kravis and his KKR firm. I persuadstruggling profession. I will stay on for a time as univered her to return to BusinessWeek in 1992 as an assistant sity professor, taking on some special projects and doing managing editor after the birth of her first child, Emilia, what I can for this wonderful school. now a senior at Vassar. Her son, Ian, is a sophomore at I am delighted that we have an outstanding new dean the University of Michigan. At BW, she presided over in Sarah Bartlett. I have known Sarah for nearly 30 years. many of our best investigative stories during the Wall When I was editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek, she was Street scandals of the 1990s. an assistant managing editor who sat in the office next Sarah left BW in 1998 to become editor-in-chief of to mine. When I came to CUNY, I asked her to help us Oxygen Media, an early startup targeted to women that develop the curriculum and get the J-School launched. sought to combine television programming with the She has played a major role in our success ever since – as content being developed for Oxygen’s website. In 2002, teacher, mentor, strategist, and fundraiser. she was appointed to the Bloomberg chair in business Let me tell you a bit more about Sarah. She was born journalism at Baruch College, part of the CUNY system. in Buffalo, where her father was a successful Buick dealer Sarah drafted the syllabi for both the urban and busiin the 1950s and 1960s. Because her parents lived much ness/economics reporting programs, then transferred to of the time in the Bahamas, she and her older brother atthe Journalism School faculty when we opened in 2006. tended elementary school for several years in Nassau – a “I was fascinated by what journalism education could be racially and economically stratified place that left a deep impression on her. She intuitively grasped the importance in this new era,” she says.The CUNY J-School is in very good hands. Welcome to the deanship, Sarah. of economic development in poorer countries and began a lifelong interest in indigenous cultures. When it came time for college, her father sat her down for a talk. A child of the Depression, he wanted to instill in her the values he had learned the hard way – including the importance of earning your way in the world. Rather than pay her tuition, he said, he would Stephen B. Shepard lend her the money for her college education, which Dean, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism



Gifts made between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013

$1 Million +


John S. and James L. Knight Foundation The Tow Foundation

$250,000-$499,999 Anonymous Ford Foundation

$100,000-$249,999 Lynn Povich and Stephen B. Shepard

Dean Stephen B. Shepard

$50,000-$99,999 FJC Foundation of Philanthropic Funds

he past eight years have been a wonderful period of growing and learning together. Thanks to the generosity of many good friends, we have awarded scholarships to 405 talented and deserving students. And unique among graduate journalism programs, we have supported our students in their paid summer internships at media companies across the U.S. and abroad – all because of the investment so many of you have made in our School. Thank you, again, to all who have given so generously to ensure the success of our students and to support the future of journalism. —Dean Shepard

For more information about the Future Journalists Fund and ways to support the CUNY J-School, please contact Diana Robertson, director of development, at 646-758-7814 or visit our website:

$25,000-$49,999 Bloomberg LP Connie Chung and Maury Povich Ehrenkranz Family Foundation Lambert Family Foundation Katherine and David Moore Donor Advised Fund Maureen White and Steven Rattner Steven Rubenstein Tishman Speyer Paul W. Sturm



The Associated Press Jennie and Richard K. De Scherer Susan Fraker David R. Friedman Local 32BJ SEIU Allan Mayer Ann L. McDaniel The New York Community Trust Michael Oreskes Norman Pearlstine Johnathan A. Rodgers Melanie Shorin Richard M. Smith The Washington Post Company David Westin Mortimer Zuckerman

Fred Abatemarco Denise Arbesu Jody and John Arnhold Soma and William A. Behr Don Brown Merrill Brown Julie Copeland Michele Willens and David Corvo Risa Finkel Edward L. Gardner Peter L. Goldman Gottsegen Family Foundation Stephen D. Greenberg Cristine Russell and Benjamin W. Heineman The Sidney Hillman Foundation Warren Hoge Hunter College Jewish Communal Fund Edward Kosner Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP Debby and Rocco Landesman Erica L. Lansner The Lauder Foundation Leonard & Evelyn Lauder Fund

Marion Lister Lawrence S. Martz Lucille B. Mathews New York - Presbyterian Hospital New York City Partnership Foundation Retail Wholesale & Department Store Union Jack Resnick & Sons, Inc. The Charles H. Revson Foundation Paul E. Steiger Jeremy Thompson Tides Foundation Time Warner Foundation The Tow Foundation Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program

$500-$999 Allegro Foundation Anthony Durniak Ralph B. Edwards Gary M. Hoenig Linda and Morton Janklow Frank Lalli David Saunders Kenneth M. Vittor

Steven Abrahams Roxanna Asgarian, Class of ‘11 Ronald Chernow Donna B. Clark Sandra Gary Peter F. Hauck Timothy D. Harper Stewart Kampel Abigail K. Kimball Alan M. Kisner Jay L. Kriegel Mary S. Kuntz Karl N. Levitt Polly and Bruce McCall Bruce Rabb Diana J. Robertson Jack Rosenthal Leonard J. Rothman Shirley and Howard Rubinfeld Mort Sheinman Theodore Slate Dinitia Smith George M. Solomon Karen E. Springen Elizabeth Surcouf Terri Thompson David Wallace Elizabeth R. Weiner Steven Weiss Judith M. Zabar $1-$99 Aisha Al-Muslim, Class of ‘09 Eliot L. Caroom, Class of ‘08 Althea Chang, Class of ‘12 Alva French, Class of ‘11 Kathleen M. Honan, Class of ‘10 Zachary Kussin, Class of ‘11 Sherrina Navani, Class of ‘11 Laura Shin, Class of ‘11 Ashley Welch, Class of ‘11

Harold W. McGraw, Jr.: Publisher, Educator, Man of Values and Integrity


ur new Center for Business Journalism [page 2] is named for one of the great gentleman publishers of the 20th century: Harold W. McGraw, Jr., the former CEO and chairman of McGraw-Hill, who died in 2010 at age 92. I was privileged to know Harold during the 20 years I served as editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek, then owned by McGraw-Hill. It’s easy to list Harold’s accomplishments: How the company’s revenues doubled on his watch as CEO. How earnings per share tripled. How he took a principled stand in fending off the unconscionable takeover attempt by American Express in 1979. How he rallied the business community to take up the cause of literacy. How he helped create the Copyright Clearance Center to protect the intellectual property of publishers. How the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education has brought honor and visibility to the best teachers and their innovative ideas. How his philanthropy has helped so many libraries and schools. If you were to ask anyone who knew Harold professionally what came to mind about Harold W. McGraw, Jr.


him, you’d hear the same words over and over again: Values. Integrity. Principled. Honorable. Educator. Concerned. Courteous. Courtly. Approachable. Humble. Self-effacing. Harold was very proud of BusinessWeek and always respected its independence. He’d sometimes write me a note when he especially liked a story. But he never once interfered. If one of his many friends in business or government complained to him about a story, I never heard about it. He simply and deeply believed that professional editors should be free to render their judgments independent of any political, personal, or commercial interference. Editors were free, he once told me, to make their own honest mistakes – as long as they owned up to them and did what they could to correct them. In October 2004, when BusinessWeek was celebrating its 75th anniversary, Harold’s son Terry, then CEO, presented me with a framed cover of that week’s issue. Also in the frame was a very special and touching gift: a green fountain pen that was Harold’s personal pen. The gift hangs in my New York apartment, and I shall always cherish it. A few months later, when I was about to retire from BusinessWeek, I told Harold that I had been offered a wonderful new opportunity to become the founding dean of a brand new graduate school of journalism at the City University of New York. I’m not sure how much he understood because his health was already failing, but I went on. I told him that this would be the first publicly supported graduate journalism school in the Northeast, opening opportunities for minorities, immigrants, and others who didn’t have a lot of money for graduate study. At that point, he smiled, and I knew that his educator’s heart understood. We’re grateful to Harold’s children, Sue, Terry, and Bob McGraw, for establishing this Center in their father’s name. We are very honored. n

—Stephen B. Shepard


Jody and John Arnhold AMC Networks BBDO Con Edison Inc. The Correspondents Fund Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Hearst Magazines Jurate Kazickas and Roger Altman Seryl & Charles Kushner Family Foundation The McGraw-Hill Companies The New York Times The News Corporation Foundation NBC News Digital Group Jane Hartley and Ralph Schlosstein



VOICES FROM THE FIELD Interns Get a Taste of Real-World Journalism


Class of 2013 interns, clockwise from top left: Chris Dell does a subway interview for the New York Daily News with former Mets manager and Yankees second baseman Willie Randolph on the way to the All-Star Game at Citi Field; Andrew Welsch reports on the use of 3D imaging technology in auto repairs for The Montreal Gazette; Karen Petree sets up a camera before an interview with members of a community youth organization in Nairobi’s Mathare slum for A24 Media; John Sodaro adjusts a GoPro camera on the goal post at Red Bull Arena in New York for; Skyler Reid shoots for the Mail & Guardian in Johannesburg, South Africa; Ann Awad gets ready to do a voiceover for WHYY-FM, 90.9 FM, in Philadelphia; Elly Yu talks to a market security manager for WABE, 90.1 FM, Atlanta’s NPR station. “My supervisor, Corey Flintoff, is a great mentor. On my first day in the office, he asked me to cover an opposition protest against the government of President Vladimir Putin. Still jet-lagged, I collected sound from the protest, conducted interviews, came back, and selected cuts of tape to use. Corey wrote a script, called it in to NPR’s newscast producer, and got me on the air that very day.”

— Susan Armitage, NPR, Moscow

“While I admit to having a donut (or two) in the office, it’s only to fuel my journalistic engine for all the assignments I’ve received . . . I’ve had the chance to cover a professional sports beat for the first time in my life . . . What’s great is also the feedback I’ve received from not just one or two, but at least three different editors, whether it’s for the web or print. And I didn’t even ask for it!”

— Chris Dell, Daily News, New York

“My days at are full and always exciting. The reporters I work with are smart, dedicated, and concerned with making the news accessible to readers. I am always encouraged and pushed to explore my ideas and not simply let them die.” — Angela Johnson,, New York

“The best experience was working on a 1,200-word feature article about sustainable weddings, which I pitched. It turned out to be a hit and was a great lesson in using reporting skills to find ‘real people’ and then networking to get the interviews I needed.” — Laura Lorenzetti, Crain’s New York Business, New York vol . 8 , no . 1

“If you’re looking for credits or airtime, or if you want to do hard news, this internship is not for you. If you want to see how international media houses operate and make contacts in this part of the world, then this is a good option. You have to be patient and realize that in many ways you are light years ahead of the crew (post-production meetings consist of ‘the map shows the wrong Congo’ or ‘such-and-such is spelled wrong.’) If you have initiative and you’re resourceful, you can do other projects on the weekends. For example, my capstone is a multimedia travel blog project, so that’s what I focused on during weekends, and during my abundance of free time in which I was required to sit in a chair and stare at a computer during the week.” — Karen Petree, A24 Media/Africa Journal, Nairobi

“I’m learning what it takes to produce, shoot and edit stories as an independent video journalist with a flexible connection to an arts website. I’m also learning that you really have to be passionate and committed to telling your subject’s story. It’s more than pointing the camera at them and writing some copy. It’s finding the parts of their story that other people can connect with – people who may or may not be familiar with dance.” — Lisa Rinehart,, New York

“I’ve delighted in holding on to the same beat I had during Craft class this year… I feel I’m developing a better understanding of how to cover a neighborhood by cultivating relationships with officials and longtime residents. Most CUNY students don’t stay for the sum-

“We’ve covered hydraulic fracking in upstate New York and the grassroots organizations opposed to the process.” — Mikhael Simmonds mer in their community districts, so people in Bushwick can tell that I remain interested in what’s happening in the community.” — Tobias Salinger, City Limits, Brooklyn

“The type of topics we cover has given me an interesting view of the U.S. as a foreign country. This is particularly important to me as a foreign student focused on international reporting. We’ve covered hydraulic fracking in upstate New York and the grassroots organizations opposed to the process, the effects some of the decisions the Supreme Court may have on ethnic and LGBTQ communities, violence against women… to name a few.” — Mikhael Simmonds,, New York

“When I had my first spot air on the national NPR newscast, that was an exciting moment for me. I really feel I’ve come very far from the time I started journalism school to where I am now. And as cheesy as it sounds, I feel as if my dream of becoming a public radio reporter is coming true. It’s an awesome feeling, and I can see myself doing this for the rest of my life.”

— Elly Yu, WABE, 90.1 FM, NPR member station, Atlanta

FALL 2013


J-School Raises “Beatle Baby” Book By Jere Hester Director, NYCity News Service


y new (and first) book, “Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family,” tells the story of how my wife and I bonded over the Fab Four and shared our love of the band with our daughter – a journey filled with modest triumphs and humorous misadventures. But the magical mystery tour I find myself happily recounting just as often these days is how it took a village – or, more specifically, a J-School – to raise a “Beatle Baby” book. Publishing, like the rest of media, is in a period of digitally driven disruption. The first Kindle e-reader made its debut nearly a year to the day after I joined CUNY in late 2006, following a 15-year stint as a reporter and editor at the New York Daily News. When I decided I wanted to write a book, I quickly found help at the J-School, formally and informally. The seeds of “Beatle Baby” were planted five years ago during summer lunches in the J-School café area with Glenn Lewis, an author who teaches narrative writing to our graduate students and directs the undergraduate journalism program at CUNY’s York College. Glenn generously offered advice and encouragement. The proposal and manuscript sprouted to life in long-form narrative writing classes that Tim Harper, an author and founding editor of the CUNY Journalism Press, established two years ago for faculty, staff and alumni. I benefited not only from valuable feedback on writing and structure but from guest speakers forging new models in publishing. One of Tim’s guests, Gabe Stuart of Bayberry Books, a specialist in self-publishing, became my production manager for “Beatle Baby.” In June, I attended the first CUNY Publishing Institute, run by John Oakes, co-publisher of OR Books, which works with the CUNY J-Press. The weeklong intensive at the J-School handed me the inspiration and the tools to get the book off my hard drive and out into the world. John’s panelists ranged from start-up e-book operators to enduring industry visionaries like Larry Kirshbaum, head of Amazon Publishing. I learned to navigate various emerging e-book platforms, and how to use social media to find an audience, among other valuable skills. Perhaps more important, John’s sessions reinforced the culture of innovation – backed by support – instilled by the CUNY J-School’s Founding Dean Stephen B. Shepard and Associate Dean Judith Watson. Change brings challenges, to be sure, but also opportunity. With help from Tim Harper, my wife and I formed Books by Brooklyn, which published “Raising a Beatle Baby.” The company name is a nod to the place I’ve lived my entire life. The idea is to help other folks tell their stories, modest like mine, or otherwise. I’ve sold a few books, in both paperback and e-book editions. I hope to sell a lot more (go to Whatever happens, I’m glad I took the plunge. I didn’t take it alone. With “Raising a Beatle Baby,” I found that I get by with a lot of help from my journalism school friends. n

INSIDESTORY CUNY Graduate School of Journalism 219 W. 40th Street, Third Floor New York, NY 10018

ALUMNINEWS Class of ’12: Anika Anand was named director of distribution and engagement for a national education news network that GothamSchools is helping to launch. Martin Burch is a data developer in The Wall Street Journal’s news graphics department. Claudia Bracholdt is a producer/video reporter for SAVIDAS film production in Germany. Elbert Chu and his wife Grace welcomed their first child, Liam Joshua, on Sept. 4. Sean Flynn was married to Melissa Yoffee, a dietitian at New York Presbyterian Hospital, on July 20 in Buffalo. Anna Halkidis is an entertainment reporter for Tristan Hallman was promoted to police reporter at The Dallas Morning News. Amital Isaac is an associate producer on the ABC-TV show, “What Would You Do?” Madhura Karnik is a staff writer for Mint, a business newspaper in India. Casey Quinlan is the investing editor at US News and World Report. Rachel Sapin is a reporter at The Aurora Sentinel. Dave Sanchirico is an assistant editor at ESPN. Julie Strickland is web producer at The Real Deal. Taylor Tepper married Alison Billias, a second-grade reading teacher, in August. Lisa Friedman Turner is the public information specialist in Thurston County, Washington. Class of ’11: Alissa Ambrose is photo editor for Lisha Arino, a reporter for the Muskegon Chronicle, won first place with two photographers in the “Innovative Storytelling” category of the Michigan Press Association’s 2013 Better Newspapers Contest for coverage of the 2012 Miss Michigan pageant. Ian Chant is associate news and features editor at Library Journal. Matt Draper is an an associate editor with Nathan Frandino is a reporter/producer for Reuters Television. Celia Gorman was promoted to associate multimedia editor at IEEE Spectrum technology magazine. Zachary Kussin is a reporter/web producer for The Real Deal’s new sister publication, Luxury Listings NYC. Annais Morales was promoted to associate producer at NY1News. Amy Stretten is national affairs correspondent in Miami for Fusion, a new 24-hour cable news channel launched by ABC News and Univision. Alcione Gonzalez (left) and Amy Stretten, both Class of ’10: Alexander Class of ‘11, in the Fusion newsroom in Miami Abad-Santos is a staff writer at Atlantic Carl Gaines cycled from Boston to New York and raised more than $3,500 for the AIDS charity Housing Works. Colby Hamilton is City Hall reporter for Vishal Persaud is the overnight editor at NBC Universal. Dana Rapoport joined Al Jazeera America as an interview producer. Azriel Relph is an associate producer at Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions. Samantha Stark is a staff video journalist at The New York Times. Class of ’09: Rachel Geizhals Bachrach became contributing editor of Mishpacha Jewish Family Weekly, moved to Cincinnati, and had a daughter, Alyssa, in November. Valerie Lapinski won a Newswoman’s Club Front Page award for her work at Time for the “One Dream” multimedia project. Kieran K. Meadows works for the TV/radio news program Democracy Now! and as a producer/editor on Forbes’s video team. Michael Reicher is the county government reporter for The Orange County Register. Jessica Simeone was promoted to associate editor at The New York Post. Joseph Walker is the biotechnology and medical devices reporter at The Wall Street Journal. Class of ’08: Claudia Cruz is a reporter at CNET en Español in San Francisco. Allison Esposito is a copywriter at Foursquare. Damian Ghigliotty is a reporter at The Mortgage Observer. Rebecca Harshbarger is transit reporter for The New York Post. Shuka Kalantari is a freelance radio reporter for BBC World News Outlook and other radio and online news services. She also reported on Iranian refugees in Turkey after winning a fellowship from the International Center for Journalists. Rosaleen Ortiz and Daniel Macht became the parents of the first all-J-School baby: Ansel Samuel Macht, born Oct. 19. Mathew Ramirez Warren’s upcoming documentary, “We Like it Like That,” about the history of Latin boogaloo music, received a National Endowment for the Arts Independent Film grant. He married Neshani Jani in San Diego on July 13. Class of ’07: Jego Armstrong is a news producer for Al Jazeera America. Candice Coots is the digital producer at Pac-12 Networks in San Francisco. Ben Levisohn is writing for the Barron’s Stocks to Watch blog. Daniel Massey won a Gold Medal from the Alliance of Area Business Publications for a profile on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The piece was also a Jesse H. Neal Award finalist. Matt Safford is a regular freelancer for Popular Science, Digital Trends, and Computer Shopper. Emily Stewart is the food and drink reporter at The Poughkeepsie Journal. EVELYN BAKER

The NYCity News Service took home Editor & Publisher’s 2013 EPPY Award for Best College/University Journalism Website. Judges also cited four News Service special reports.

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vol . 8 , no . 1

FALL 2013


InsideStory Fall 2013  
InsideStory Fall 2013