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Introducing the Class of 2020: Jishnu Nair

The National Press Club Journalism Institute is spotlighting the next generation of journalists, students who graduated from college or Master’s programs this spring into a challenging job market. We hope they’ll meet future bosses and colleagues here, who will reach out and support them in building journalism’s future together. 

Name: Jishnu Nair

School: Syracuse University

Location: Syracuse, NY

Student media: The NewsHouse

Internship: Chapel Hill Magazine

What have you learned from your involvement with student media on your campus?

Nair: Covering campus protests has prepared me for larger-scale protests around the country, as students at Syracuse University began movements in fall 2019 that parallel the protests now rocking America and the world. Other things I picked up included working in multiple media platforms, including magazines, television news, and online-only publications. Additionally, I got my first taste of documents-based reporting and, in my senior year, I was able to do a partnership with USA Today to FOIA/FOIL public info from various college athletics programs.

What have you learned from your internship experience(s)?

Nair: I was an editorial intern at a local magazine, Chapel Hill Magazine, and further developed my skills including the development of a house style, copyediting and web publishing. I would later go on to freelance for this magazine and learned how to negotiate freelancing rates for various assignments.

What’s been your best moment in journalism?

Nair: Covering the 2020 New Hampshire presidential primary and attending Senator [Bernie] Sanders’ victory event as a radio reporter for WAMC News in Albany.

What’s the wackiest story you’ve worked on? 

Nair: It wasn’t an individual story, but reporting on the New Hampshire primary was an insane week — I was able to do it with some of my very close friends, which helped; I got aired on “All Things Considered”; my gas cap froze shut; and overall it felt like I was in a lucid dream for the week.

What do you want to accomplish in your journalism career?

Nair: I would like to report on government and campaign funding through documents and data. I like working with open data and finding that data through FOIL requests or other means. My ideal story would have similar threads to David Fahrenthold‘s Pulitzer-winning investigation on Trump properties for The Washington Post. Later in my life, I would like to try working on the business side of media, and help produce content for underrepresented voices.

If you could meet any journalist and ask for her/his advice, who would it be and why?

Nair: I would like to meet Soledad O’Brien and ask for her advice in moving from reporting to starting her own media company. Business administration was not something I originally considered when I was younger, but seeing the work that she and others have done have made me curious.

What do you want potential employers to know about you?

Nair: I can work across a wide variety of formats and story types, and I’ll be happy to work any assignment. I like working in local communities where I can build a network, and I’m interested in serving communities that don’t have access to local journalism.

When you aren’t practicing journalism, how do you spend your time?

Nair: Reading; writing (not reporting); playing, watching and talking about soccer.

If you’re a recent graduate who studied journalism, or know one, we’re accepting information here for members of the Class of 2020 to feature in the future. If you’re a supporter, you can contribute here to scholarships for journalism students


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