Jenna Bartley is interested in public relations, but curious about journalism too. Hannah Brumback is thinking about social media. Nicholas Dorer is exploring all options, but likes sports reporting. Cecelia Johanni identifies as a writerly type with an interest in magazines. Morgan Meyer loves theater but also works for her yearbook. Briana Ousley, who is interning for two Cincinnati media organizations this summer, is drawn to the magazine world. And Andrea Ratiu is pretty set on a career as a political journalist.
As rising high school seniors, their plans may all change, of course. But the seven students in 2016’s Summer Scholars’ “Media & The Millennials: Journalism in Action” program are all, at least, considering where they might fit into the media world.
2016’s guests provided plenty of examples of the options.
At WVXU, Cincinnati’s leading NPR affiliate, news director Maryanne Zeleznik (Miami class of 1983) provided a behind-the-scenes peek at anchoring, as she handled news, traffic and weather announcements on air with “Media & the Millennials” students in the studio. Afterwards, colleagues explained their jobs and offered career coaching. “The more roles you are willing to play, the more likely you are to get a job,” said Mark Heyne, host of the station’s afternoon Cincinnati Edition program.
At The Cincinnati Enquirer, photojournalist Cara Owsley told students she often gets to the scene of breaking news before emergency personnel. Fatal accidents are difficult to photograph, she admitted. “That’s probably the hardest part – seeing death.” But stories that prompt positive change are rewarding, Owsley said, noting that she stays in touch with the Villatoro family, who was helped by her coverage of granddaughter Yosselin’s cancer crisis.
Enquirer staffers — poverty reporter Emilie Eaton, News Director Michael Kilian and Editor Peter Bhatia, all center back — focus on stories that matter.
Enquirer Editor Peter Bhatia, meanwhile, sets priorities for the news staff, critically important given an ever-smaller staff. “The issues are even more complex – and our resources are even more limited. We have to do fewer things better.” Emilie Eaton provided an example. Bhatia assigned her to cover poverty, reacting to news that 44 percent of Cincinnati’s children live at or below the poverty line. “They have a story to tell,” Eaton said.
At the Cincinnati office of the Associated Press, located in the Enquirer building at 312 Elm St., correspondent Dan Sewell has been writing about politics, gay marriage and the death of Cincinnati Zoo gorilla Harambe this summer. “I’m trying to cover Cincinnati for people who don’t live in Cincinnati,” he said.
Just minutes away, WCPO-TV, Cincinnati’s ABC affiliate, devotes more than four hours a day to news programming, Community Affairs Director Mona Morrow told Summer Scholars. Much of that is devoted to weather – with plentiful equipment at the ready in the studio. But WCPO’s “Insider” team is dedicated to deep and innovative reporting, with a staff of veterans from other mostly local news organizations. One example: Reporter Lucy May teamed up with staff artist/cartoonist Kevin Necessary in May to produce Childhood Saved, a graphic novel about a family torn apart by heroin use.
After their field trip to Cincinnati, “M&M” students met (either virtually or in person) with journalists working for:
- The Columbus Dispatch. Intern James Steinbauer, editor of The Miami Student, just landed on Page 1 with coverage of heroin deaths in Columbus. Licking County reporter Jenn Smola’s (Miami class of 2014) story about mothers who kill their own newborns, meanwhile, has been a top pick for Dispatch’s online audience.
- Huffington Post. Producer JM Rieger (Miami ’13) brought his firepower from CQ Roll Call to HuffPost this spring, where he’s producing video stories on politics and other topics.
- VICE on HBO. Researcher Taylor Dolven (Miami ’12) devotes her days to digging deep to prepare VICE teams for field reporting. Her work on last year’s Iran nuclear agreement, for example, required reading hundreds of pages, talking to experts and writing up her findings for the reporting team.
- Odyssey. Ellie Conley (Miami ’15) moves from MTV to this high-profile new web site later this month, where she’ll be one of about 70 editors working with content providers across the country.
- Cincinnati magazine. Associate editor Adam Flango and digital media editor Amy Brownlee (Miami ’05) urged students to work internships into their college years – pitching, of course, their own publication. (Benefit: Staffers get to eat, on the company dime, a lot! Evidence: Packages on Top 10 restaurants in the March issue, best bars in May and best butchers in July.)
As “M&M” students learned about journalism from generous class guests, they also worked on their own stories — ones about other Summer Scholars’ programs; mini-profiles of some of their Scholar classmates; and short essays about the news industry. Open the links in their bios below to read all their great work!
— Patricia Gallagher Newberry, Senior Lecturer in Journalism, “Media & The Millennial” instructor
Meet the M&M16 Scholars
Jenna Bartley from Medina, Ohio, will be entering her senior year this coming fall. Originally from Chicago, she loves to travel and explore new cultures with friends and family. Being the youngest of four kids, with foster children coming in and out of her home, Jenna learned the responsibility of being a babysitter and caretaker, which gave her the capability to earn her first job of looking after five kids and their elderly grandmother, at the age of 11. Throughout high school, she has served as team captain on many sports teams such as golf, volleyball, swimming and snowboarding. Once a month, she volunteers at a Cleveland homeless shelter. She also serves as student government vice president at her local community college, where she will earn her associate’s degree before receiving her high school diploma. She hopes to transfer her credits to a four-year university upon graduating with the intent of double majoring in strategic communications and political science.
Hannah Brumback, a rising senior from Columbus, Ohio, will begin her final year of high school at Culver Academies in Indiana this fall. This boarding school has been a tradition in her family for four generations, and she is excited to have her brother joining her this year. Hannah will serve as Council Chair this fall, meeting with the highest leaders of the girls’ school alongside the assistant dean to discuss student-led initiatives and issues. She has also been highly involved in Culver’s student government, and has been class president for the past two years. Hannah’s volunteer pursuits include working on the planning committee for the local Relay for Life event. As an athlete, she is the captain of the golf team for this upcoming fall season, as well as a basketball cheerleader during the winter months where she serves as a base in her stunt groups. Hannah has not yet decided what she wants to study in college, or where she’d like to attend.
Nicholas Dorer will be entering his senior year at William Mason High School in Mason, Ohio, where he lives with his parents and a younger sister. He is a member of his school’s marching band which was most recently ranked fourth nationally, coming up from sixth over the past three years. Nicholas also plays in concert band, participates in solo and ensemble events and plays recreational basketball and baseball with friends. During the summer he umpires Little League softball. As a sports fan for his whole life, a career as a sportswriter is a possibility.
Cecelia Johanni, a resident of Garfield Heights, Ohio, is entering her junior year at Holy Name High School. She participates in film club, STEAM club, game club, drama club, newspaper, and writing club. This school year she will act as treasurer of the drama club and editor-in-chief of the school newspaper. Cecelia is also a varsity cheerleader, literary magazine contributor, and volunteer at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, and watching plays and musicals. Cecelia is very close to her family of five, including her older brother, who will be a freshman at Cleveland State University, and younger sister who shares in her passion of theater. In the future, she plans to have a career that will reach out to people and make a difference for those who do not have a voice.
Morgan Meyer, from Liberty Township, Ohio, is often found volunteering for various groups around her community. She just returned from a mission trip hosting a camp in Campton, Ky., for at-risk youths. Meyer is the second of four children ranging from 11 to 20, and she thrives on the chaos and love they bring. She is entering her senior year of high school involvement in the Lakota West theater program, and maintains jobs as a shelver at a library and a golf course caddy.
Briana Ousley from Fairfield, Ohio, will be a senior at Fairfield Senior High School this fall. She’s an honor roll student and is involved with her school’s Spanish Club. Next year, she looks forward to helping out with daily announcements and the yearbook at her school. Briana is interested in many different fields of journalism, including photography, graphic media, print and broadcast. She currently interns at WCPO-TV and at The Cincinnati Herald. She helps write stories, plan events and network with other companies. In her free time, Briana loves to read, travel, volunteer and blog. She hopes to write for her own website and be published by professional news sites.
Andrea Ratiu from Reading, Ohio, will attend her final year at Reading High School this fall. Throughout her high school career, Andrea has been involved in a myriad of musical programs, from marching band to select choir. She volunteers for the Key Club of America, which raises money for charitable organizations. Family-wise, she is European-blooded, the first Romanian in her family to be born in the United States. Andrea balances her activities with rigorous coursework that range from honors, to college credit plus, to Advanced Placement. She aims to co-major in journalism and political science, and someday land a high-ranking status in the world of media.