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Thanks for the memories: It’s time to wish these five student journalists “good luck” | Policy







From left, Ashlyn Myers, Isaac Gleitz, Ari Lovitt, Taylor Wooten and Maddie Alexander pose outside Shirk Hall on the campus of Franklin College, home to the Pulliam School of Journalism. The five journalists have just completed a successful stint at TheStatehouseFile.com.



This week, Franklin College senior Taylor Wooten, senior Ari Lovitt, junior Isaac Gleitz, junior Maddie Alexander and rookie Ashlyn Myers completed a four-month stint working in “The Shack” – the office of the Statehouse File in the Indiana Statehouse press corps – as well as on campus and in the field.

As part of the Pulliam School of Journalism’s 16-year immersive learning program, they attended some 70 meetings during the 2022 legislative session and posted nearly 100 articles as well as photos and videos on TheStatehouseFile .com. Their work also appeared in 35 Indiana media outlets subscribing to TSF as a news service.

“A real newsroom is the best classroom for a future journalist,” said Colleen Steffen, editor of The Statehouse File. “It can be difficult and stressful for students, but for me it is extremely satisfying to see the growth they are able to achieve in such a short time.”

This year’s crop of J majors was challenged by an extraordinarily contentious session that saw partisan fights over handgun licensing, trans youth’s right to play sports, primary races after the redistricting and how to respond to a possible reversal of Roe v. Wade, among other polarizing issues. Some staffers, along with members of campus newspaper The Franklin, also continued a series of stories about disgraced former FC President Thomas Minar on trial in Wisconsin.

“TSF was pretty tough for me,” said Myers, new to college life and the youngest of the bunch. “In September, when I started writing, I was what most would consider a complete rookie. I didn’t know the AP style, and I certainly didn’t know how to create a lede or call legislators.

“However, I had fellow reporters and two editors who cared enough about me to help build both my writing skills and my confidence. I learned all about state government, but I I also learned about myself. I learned that I love writing feature films, and that I thrive on a deadline. I learned to empathize and accept when we have wrong.

“TSF helped me fall in love with journalism, and I have no intention of quitting.”

Ashlyn is from Franklin and recently won the college’s Damaris Knobe Endowed Journalism Fellowship. She will continue to work with The Statehouse File this summer as a freelancer, as will Alexander, an Indianapolis resident and social media content creator with over 280,000 followers on TikTok who has rediscovered a love for writing.

“TSF taught me how to improve my writing skills and made me more confident in what I’m doing and what I’m asking when talking to politicians,” Alexander said. “It brought me new friends I could bond with while writing.”

Gleitz, of Corydon, was a finalist in the Thomas R. Keating Competition for College Feature Writers last fall and won the college’s Jerry Miller Prize this spring. “I’ve learned that there’s a way to be creative and add your personal touch to every subject, even when it’s the most mundane,” he said.

He is going on an expatriation to Barcelona while the two seniors of TSF are going to enter the job market. Lovitt, from Greenwood, dreams of a job as a music or technology journalist.

“For me, TSF was a new adventure every day,” she said. “It was the hardest and fastest I’ve ever pushed as a journalist, with results and improvements to boot. The team made writing and working fun…I’m so thankful to this opportunity !”

As for Wooten, of Clarksville, her senior accolades include second place in the Keating Contest and the Harvey C. Jacobs Journalism Award, and she went to the POLITICO Journalism Institute, a prestigious studio that only accepts 16 young journalists. from all over the country. , during job interviews.

“Being able to cover the session in person this semester alongside professional journalists has really helped me gain confidence in myself and my choice to pursue journalism,” Wooten said. “That, along with the support and guidance of Colleen and Kevin, really made me feel empowered despite the usual doubts of young adults.”

“After a 2021 session that saw our Statehouse office essentially shut down by COVID, forcing us to report remotely, it was good to return to the Statehouse in 2022,” he said. “This year’s group has benefited from this, producing both in quantity and quality. I have enjoyed working with them, wish the best to our departing seniors and look forward to working with those returning. next year.”

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