The next generation of journalists graduated in 2020 into a challenging job market unlike any other. We spotlighted them last summer, shared advice from their role models, and are checking in with them to see where they are now and what they’re learning about journalism.
Name: Joe Snell
School: Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism
Where are you working right now?
Snell: I work at Al-Monitor, a news company that covers the Middle East and North Africa, full time.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned on the job search?
Snell: I’m learning to manage a large volume of reporting as well as making sense of very complicated issues. School taught me techniques, and I was able to develop them at a comfortable pace. Now, I am using them in hyperdrive and merging them with new techniques. I’m learning to process many things happening at once and connecting multiple dots that are always moving and sometimes disappearing. It’s a bit of a rush.
What’s been your best moment in journalism since graduation?
Snell: There hasn’t been one particular moment, I’m generally thrilled to be part of a great newsroom and covering a topic I’m very passionate about.
What do you wish you had learned as a student that you’re learning on the job?
Snell: It would have been helpful to concentrate on methods to develop a beat and track large volumes of information, sources and historical context.
Have your journalism goals changed since graduation, and if so how?
Snell: They haven’t changed. I’m driven to cover the Middle East and North Africa and uncover the truth. My position affords me that opportunity and I’m very grateful to have it.
What’s the NEW wackiest story you’ve ever worked on?
Snell: This may not be the wackiest story but it’s certainly a memorable story series. On the second day of my job, the Beirut blast occurred. I was able to pitch and produce a series of audio stories with survivors and real-life heroes on the ground, from an office worker that saved people in his building to a nurse that described a trail of blood to the nearest hospital to a man that started a broom brigade to clean up his neighborhood. It was great to be in an environment where I had the ability to pitch a digital series and have someone that believed in me to produce it.
How are you taking care of yourself and staying motivated right now?
Snell: Staying in touch with old classmates. Reading Marie Colvin’s dispatches for a refresher on exceptional reporting. Living with a dog that only wants to play while I’m conducting important phone interviews at 3 a.m.