During the seniors’ final week of classes, the ORRHS Journalism class and staff spoke with ORR alumnus and current freelance journalist Emily Johnson. The class got to speak with Johnson from her “home base” of New York via Skype call. The call lasted almost the full 88 minutes of the class.
Johnson first began as an Animal Behavior undergraduate and didn’t discover a passion for journalism until she was studying in Tanzania. She has since worked around the world and in New York on freelance projects of different media styles. One of her biggest pieces was a collaboration with nonprofit organization Project Word that helped a potential court case against Exxon-Mobile from Aceh, a village in Indonesia, get recognized.
The class had questions mostly concerning her experience with that long-running story and what it was like to be a freelance journalist working in different spots around the world. The class was enthusiastic about her work and experiences and continued asking questions right up to the end. Most of the students said they found it “inspiring” that an ORR graduate could travel so far and find what she loves after or toward the end of college.
In addition to many other topics, Johnson enlightened the students about the changing face of journalism. She spoke to those thinking about freelancing or getting into the journalism field that being well-rounded and being ready to report not only in news writing, but also through radio or video reporting, is a good skill to have. Students responded well to her firsthand knowledge and experiences.
By Jessica Correia