CAMD School of Journalism graduate student Catherine McGloin is currently on co-op at the Bay State Banner, where she covers local news and events in the Boston area. She joins this position while continuing her work reporting for and directing The Scope, a Northeastern-based digital publication with a focus on justice and advocacy. We recently caught up with Catherine about her experiences both on co-op (where she’s already covered several stories, which can be found here) and more generally in the Northeastern and Boston community! Read more below.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE AT THE BAY STATE BANNER SO FAR.
My main role at the Banner is to cover events and stories involving neighborhoods including, but not limited to, Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan and Jamaica Plain. Each week I write four or five articles, reporting on a wide range of topics, from community meetings about new housing developments, to political races and protests at the State House. I can work remotely, so I’m usually running around the city, getting interviews and photographs for my pieces, before settling in to write in a cafe or at home. Every Tuesday I go in to the Banner’s offices in Mattapan to help proof, lay out and write headlines for that week’s newspaper. You never know when a story might come through, so you have to be flexible to turn it around quite quickly, or attend events in the evenings – it’s not a 9-5, every day is different, but that’s why I love it.
HOW HAVE YOUR EXPERIENCES HERE AT NORTHEASTERN HELPED PREPARE YOU FOR THIS CO-OP?
For me, arriving on the graduate program with little journalistic experience, some of the first courses I took in the fundamentals of writing and journalism were vital. With those I feel like I have a strong knowledge base with which to tackle any type of story. A lot of my courses have also encouraged creativity, be that through developing your own personal writing style, or working with different media, like podcasts and TV. I find this has given me many new ways of thinking that allow me to creatively explore whatever topic I’m reporting on, find unique angles or unconventional ways of presenting stories.
OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM, HOW HAVE OTHER EXPERIENCES PREPARED YOU FOR THE BAY STATE BANNER?
As editor at The Scope I’ve learnt so much about Boston and its communities in such a short space of time. It really helped push me to write about issues I might never have explored previously, like LGBTQ prisoner rights or child sex trafficking. Writing about often complex issues and meeting some of the truly inspirational people who are involved in the fight for social justice, who otherwise I might not have met, has been creatively challenging and hugely rewarding on a personal level.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR INTERESTS OR PASSIONS, AND HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO INCORPORATE THEM INTO YOUR JOURNALISM?
I’ve always been concerned with issues of social justice and inequality, be it education, the environment, criminal justice, racial discrimination or civil rights. I believe it’s important to live beyond your own experiences, to build understanding and compassion for the different communities we live alongside, and to have our eyes open to the situation of others. Journalism allows me to explore these issues, spread awareness, and hopefully play some part in holding accountable those who are responsible for injustice in our society. And of course, occasionally celebrating positive change.
Congratulations to Catherine on her accomplishments so far, and we can’t wait to see the positive change she helps create in our community!