A program by the Cleveland Pro & John Carroll chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists took place April 21 via Zoom. We may have something to learn from this meeting and group of what I could call “cousins” to our profession.
The John Carroll University Campus Chapter and the Cleveland Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) co-hosted the discussion with journalists at various stages of their careers: one in college, one who’s just starting out, several longtime reporters and editors, and a journalism professor nearing retirement.Attendees had an opportunity to connect with these new and well-established journalists and ask questions. On the panel were the following (as explained at the SPJ website):
Rachel Scully is a senior at John Carroll University double majoring in Political Science and Communication with a minor in Spanish. A former intern at The Hill with numerous stories published ranging from politics to celebrity news, Rachel started writing for The Carroll News her freshman year in 2017. She became the editor of Arts & Life, then Campus section editor. In the future, she hopes to end up in Washington D.C. pursuing a career in political journalism.
Laura Bednar is a freelance writer for The Sun News, Saint Ignatius Magazine, The Old Brooklyn News and the public relations company CMP Communications. She is also a board member of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Cleveland Chapter. When she isn’t writing, she is working full-time in the landscaping field.
Jacqueline Mitchell is senior editor of Pest Control Technology magazine, a GIE Media publication based in Valley View. Previously, she was an editor at ScripType Publishing in Richfield, where she oversaw the production of Brecksville Magazine, Broadview Journal and Bath Country Journal. She also served as a staff reporter at the Cleveland Jewish News. Jacqueline holds a bachelor’s degree in communication (journalism track) from John Carroll. She freelances for Old Brooklyn Magazine and lives in Old Brooklyn with her pug, Van Geaux.
Stefanie Valentic is the editorial director of Waste360, a waste and recycling industry publication. She graduated from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism in 2009 and completed the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism 2018. Valentic has been in B2B publishing for more than a decade, covering topics from agriculture to occupational health and safety. She has been a member of the Society of Professional Journalists since college
Angela Gartner is currently the editor/content director at Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine. She previously served as editor for family and general interest magazines in the region. She was an education reporter at The News-Herald in Willoughby. Angela has also freelanced for newspapers and other publications including Sun Newspapers and the Chicago Tribune. She is currently a graduate student at Kent State University.
David Campbell has been sports manager of cleveland.com since August of 2013. In that role, he oversees and coordinates coverage of the Browns, Cavaliers, Indians and Ohio State, as well as high school sports. He also has been cleveland.com‘s Health Care Editor in 2020 and 2021. For 15 years, he worked at The Plain Dealer as metropolitan sports editor, associate sports editor and deputy sports editor/online.
Carrie Buchanan: A longtime journalist in Montreal and Ottawa, primarily at the Ottawa Citizen, Buchanan covered local and national issues with an emphasis at different times on municipal politics, Quebec, Indigenous affairs, public health and the environment. She earned her doctorate in 2010 at Carleton University’s School of Journalism & Communication in Canada and is now a tenured professor in the Tim Russert Department of Communication at John Carroll.
The moderator was Anna Meyer: A junior at John Carroll University studying Digital Media Communication and Political Science with a Leadership Development minor, Anna has been a staff reporter for The Carroll News since her freshman year and is the upcoming sports editor for 2021-22. She has been very involved at John Carroll as an active member of the JCU Sports Information Department where she works on broadcasts and writing. She also serves as the vice president of communication for Student Government and is the president of the JCU Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Anna hopes to pursue a job in multimedia journalism after graduation.
As one example of the scope of a career, Carrie Buchanan mentioned seven areas in her own career. These included work in both journalism and academia. It also included work in Canada and Cleveland. Some of us who have worked in the field can think about our own areas of work throughout a career. Those starting out in the field can imagine what might be in store for them throughout a career.