What Our Alumni and Area Editors Have to Say

ETHAN  DEZOTELLE –Former editor, The County Courier

“As a student of the JSC journalism program, I learned all the nuts and bolts that go along with being a reporter: Journalism students learn the ins and outs of the business by performing the ins and outs of the business. Whether it's through publishing Basement Medicine, the coolest student newspaper around, or by living the life via an internship, there's no difference between college and the so-called 'real world' because it's all masterfully blended together.

"The whole process works so well that my internship at the Stowe Reporter in Stowe, VT, turned into a full-time job. And after three years there, I moved on to become editor of the County Courier in Enosburg Falls, VT. Along the way I picked up several awards from both the New England Press Association and the Vermont Press Association, none of which would have been possible without the education I received at JSC.

"The core educational aspect aside, there's another very important aspect to all this. One of the fundamental ideas that JSC's journalism program is built on is that a journalist is a public servant. Yes, I left the journalism program as an eager and excited journalist, but I also left as a hopeful and inspired man who wanted to make his community a better place."


TOM GARDNER – Reporter, Hardwick Gazette

"The journalism program at JSC gave me the knowledge and confidence I needed to step into the newsroom as a professional. As a reporter currently working at a local weekly I can testify there isn't a whole lot of difference between interviewing a town manager and interviewing a college president. . . Enterprise journalism is enterprise journalism, whether digging into the machinations of the Vermont State College system or investigating an embezzlement by a local official. The JSC journalism program taught me how to report the news, supplying the basic secrets of how to gather information and deliver it cleanly and accurately."


SCOTT MONROE- Prize-winning reporter at the Morning Sentinel, Waterville, Maine  

"Theory is one thing, but there's nothing quite like on-the-job training. That's exactly what I got from the journalism program at Johnson State College. From feature writing assignments to covering hard news and the arts on campus, to editing and designing a newspaper, the experience gave me everything I needed to know to become a working journalist. My instructors, who had real-world journalism training, became good friends and mentors. I felt well prepared for my first job at a weekly newspaper and humbled by the important role of journalism in our communities. Now a reporter at a daily newspaper, I continue to draw on the lessons I learned at JSC whenever I'm in the newsroom.

"JSC's journalism program introduced me to more than a job; I found a career that's rewarding and, hopefully, making a difference. I'm challenged every day by work that continues to change in new and exciting ways."


DAPHNE LARKIN – Media Relations Manager, Norwich University

"Johnson's journalism program gave me the education I needed to have a successful career first as a journalist and then in media relations. It has everything a person needs to succeed in this evolving, vital field. From the study of the media industry galvanized through classroom discussions to hands-on training in the Basement Medicine newsroom, upon graduation I had all the necessary tools to become an effective and critical contributor to Vermont media. I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in pursuing a career in news media."

NATHAN BURGESS – Reporter, Stowe Reporter, Winner of New England Press Association's 2010 Rookie of the Year Award

"The journalism program at Johnson State College was a welcome first step into the world of community journalism. From learning the craft as a green reporter to wrestling with difficult ethical challenges as an editor, working on Basement Medicine and relating that experience in the classroom was crucial in building my skills as a reporter. By doing the work, both on the college paper and through freelancing and internship opportunities, I learned more than I ever would out of a textbook about working hard, working smart and being clever as a reporter."


TOM KEARNEY- Editor, Stowe Reporter

"Our sister newspapers, the Stowe Reporter and Waterbury Record, have had a remarkably rewarding history with the Johnson State College journalism program.
We have hired two Johnson State interns as staff reporters, and one advanced to assistant editor of the Stowe Reporter before leaving to work for The Sentinel, a daily newspaper in Waterville, Maine. The other was a reporter for the Waterbury Record and later the Stowe Reporter, covering town and school government.
"The Johnson State program had pointed both of those burgeoning journalists in the right direction, and they responded eagerly to our need to have reporters who can not only cover a beat, but also do heavy lifting on enterprise stories and projects. Both also had the versatility to cover the extraordinarily wide range of stories that weekly newspapers encounter, from llamas on the loose to the bailout of AIG, parent company of Stowe Mountain Resort.
"We have also had several excellent interns from Johnson State, including one who stepped into the breach when one of our staff reporters needed emergency heart surgery last summer and was out of work for three months.
"What I've seen is that the Johnson State program challenges journalism students to think for themselves, to be skeptical but not cynical, to look for the larger story that can lead from the everyday, and to find interesting ways to tell the story.
"That is a great foundation.
"We have high standards here; the Stowe Reporter has been chosen as the best community weekly newspaper in Vermont for the past 11 years. I am former president of the New England Society of Newspaper Editors, and a two-time juror for the Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism."


“Students who graduate from the community journalism program at Johnson State College know how to write and know how to report. They are good reporters. The Hardwick Gazette has a long-standing relationship with the program. At least five graduates have worked for the newspaper, two of them as full-time, long-term reporters. Each year, for a number of years, JSC journalism students cover numerous town meetings for the Gazette, quality coverage the newspaper would otherwise be unable to provide. Editors in need of well-trained reporters would do well to hire graduates of the program. JSC journalism students are taught well and know their trade.”


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