Introducing the Class of 2020: Abigail Sliva

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.

Photograph of Abigail Sliva
Abigail Sliva

Name: Abigail Sliva 
School: University of St. Thomas 
Location: St. Paul, MN
Student media: TommieMedia
Wackiest story: a possum terrorizing campus

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

Sliva: I have learned how to reach sources, build relationships with sources, write efficiently, consider as many sides of the story as possible while weighting them carefully, as well as so many leadership skills and how to build newsroom trust and expertise.

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

Sliva: I interned for a literary organization and it surprisingly helped me build a lot of journalism skills! I became a lot more familiar with Minneapolis and St. Paul outside of my small liberal arts college, and I became more confident in my speaking and writing abilities by being around some of the best speakers and writers in the state.

What’s been your best moment in journalism?

Sliva: My best moment in journalism was going to the state courthouse to cover the indictment of a St. Thomas student charged with making bomb threats to campus. The pressure of covering a case that other local outlets were covering in a timely, dignified way was really rewarding, and it gave me an experience that I can take with me moving forward in local journalism.

What’s the wackiest story you’ve worked on? (Include a link, if you can.)

Sliva: I am a super ridiculous person, so I’ve always had a hand in the wacky stories. My favorite and the most recent one was a photo story of a possum terrorizing campus. 

What do you want to accomplish in your journalism career?

Sliva: I want to find my niche and excel at it. I think the best journalists are the ones that find a beat and dig into it. I think this time post-grad is where I am really exploring and trying to find that beat and experimenting with different stories.

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

Sliva: Amanda Mull writes stories in the effortless way I wish I could, and I would want to have advice on how to develop your own voice in stories in a professional but personal way.

What do you want potential employers to know about you?

Sliva: I am eager to learn things, all the time. I love being thrown stories and being able to run with them. I am also not afraid to ask for help. I love to form trusting, professional relationships with my editors and grow from my edits. I am also extremely easy-going and try to be as kind as I can.

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

Sliva: I love to read contemporary fiction and write short stories! I also spend time with my cat and drink La Croix and listen to One Direction (RIP).

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