Read All About It: Journalism at Hillsdale
Written by Evalyn Homoelle
Let’s be honest for a moment: I can imagine you’re a person who is constantly asking questions, is obsessed with news updates, and dreams of being a high-profile journalist. You know what you want to do with your life, so what reason do you have to attend a college where you can’t major in journalism and have to complete almost two years of liberal arts material?
The answer is simple. The professors and students involved in Hillsdale’s Dow Journalism Program understand the requirement of majoring in a traditional discipline as one of the strongest qualities about the journalism minor. The program’s mission statement highlights the importance of journalism based in the classical liberal arts and focuses on its devotion to “the restoration of ethical, high-minded journalism standards, and to the reformation of our cultural, political, and social practices.”
Nicole Ault, ’19, former editor-in-chief of The Collegian and now the assistant editorial page writer at The Wall Street Journal, sees Hillsdale’s journalism minor as a well-rounded, holistic approach to professional writing. Although Nicole wasn’t considering journalism as a career her freshman year at Hillsdale, she soon discovered her love of sharing stories through writing for The Collegian and later declared an economics major with the journalism minor. Before she graduated, Nicole was able to complete several practical internships and was offered a full-time position at The Wall Street Journal upon completion of her senior year internship.
My conversation with Nicole affirmed Hillsdale’s unique approach to education: when students consider their career goals, they usually pick a major that directly corresponds to what job they want to have in the future. Nicole told me that journalism isn’t just about learning to write captivating stories or persuasive pieces; it’s about becoming a mini-professional in a field of study and then learning to write effectively about current events in that field.
“Hillsdale prepared me for a writing career by honing my critical thinking and logic skills,” she said. “Good writing starts with good thinking.”
If you’re a student who’s considering journalism, Nicole has some practical advice for you: “Writing for The Collegian is truly the best way to learn basic reporting skills and to figure out if you enjoy journalism. It’s also a great way to get to know Hillsdale.”
Although the classes specific to the journalism minor are critical to a future career in journalism, the outside-the-classroom resources that Hillsdale offers are one of the most important facets of becoming an effective writer. There are also several College competitions specific to journalism as well as intensive seminars presented by visiting journalists and media professionals.
Freshman Elizabeth Troutman was able to participate in a seminar titled “The Future of Journalism,” taught by visiting professor Chris Bedford, a senior editor of The Federalist and a board member of The National Journalism Center. Aside from attending lectures and writing for The Collegian, Elizabeth and her classmates were given advice ranging from the general style of journalism to tips for living and working in Washington, D.C. They also were able to implement their skills by receiving press passes for a Trump presidential campaign rally, where they interviewed attendees and experienced a true journalistic environment.
“Journalism is a trade,” Elizabeth said. “You go to college for an education, not just a career, so by majoring in a different discipline, you’ll be able to effectively investigate and write about it.” Elizabeth, who plans to combine the journalism minor with a major in politics, said that one of the most appealing things about Hillsdale was its newspaper, The Collegian: “When I visited Hillsdale, I was blown away by the quality of the reporting. No other colleges really compared, and that’s when I realized that I would get the best journalism experience at Hillsdale.”
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Evalyn Homoelle, ’24, hails from the great state of Ohio and plans to pursue pre-allied health or political science and journalism. She is involved in Mock Trial and choir, and obsesses over dark chocolate, Jane Austen novels, classical music, and her golden retriever puppy.
Published in January 2021