WJI graduate profile 2014: Elizabeth Stinnette
Nov 5, 2014
Elizabeth Stinnette has pursued journalism as a college student because she has always enjoyed talking to people and getting to tell their stories.
From veterans to politicians to children, Stinnette got to tell plenty of stories this year during her summer in Asheville, N.C. and Washington, D.C. with the World Journalism Institute.
Stinnette, a student at Patrick Henry College, said WJI gave her a comprehensive journalism experience. The program taught her how covering the news works in a national news organization. All her previous journalism experiences have been with school and local newspapers.
The WJI editors, Stinnette said, helped her writing become more concise, showed her how to ask better questions, and taught her how to report quickly and accurately.
“All the teachers were so dedicated to helping us become better journalists, and that started right on the first day with their line by line editing,” she said. “I learned how to find information faster and how to interview people better. Having to come up with new story ideas made me a stronger reporter.”
Stinnette valued getting to know professional journalists and being able to learn from them and work alongside them. Stinnette said the teachers worked hard at being supportive to all the students as they learned.
But she also enjoyed meeting other young Christians who were thinking about becoming reporters like her: “It was really cool to spend time with other journalists who believe the things I do.”
Selected for WJI’s Washington, D.C. program after the end of the program’s three weeks in Asheville, Stinnette found herself having to navigate the world of political spin. Stinnette reported on protests in front of the White House, attended hearings on issue like political prisoners in North Korea, interviewed congressmen, and had some late nights covering primary elections. Stinnette considers herself more of a feature writer, but she said she learned to appreciate and even embrace the political experience.
She also found time to covering events and telling stories outside of Capitol Hill. One of her favorite stories was profiling a Washington-area nonprofit that teaches reading to inner-city youth. She also got to travel to the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford Falls, Va., for the 70th anniversary of the Allied landings at Normandy, a turning point of World War II.
“It was so amazing to see all those veterans,” Stinnette said. “They were so kind and generous in telling their stories.”
She delved even deeper into history for Independence Day, writing about the 200th anniversary of the battle and the flag that led to the writing of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Stinnette said she ended up doing a lot of “real reporting”, spending weeks out in the field covering stories. That challenged her to learn about new issues and meet new people every single day. She was surprised by how much the WJI team let her contribute to World Magazine and its website.
“Most internships let you contribute occasionally, but I was able to write something everyday,” she said. “It really was a different story and a different experience each day.”
Stinnette said future WJI students should come expecting to work hard and learn more than they ever thought they could learn in a few weeks when it comes to doing journalism: “WJI made me hone my craft. I really grew up as a writer. I feel like I can write anywhere now.”
To read some of the more than 30 stories Stinnette wrote for World click here:
And to learn more about joining the WJI team for 2015 keep exploring this website and click on the “apply now” button at the top of each web page.
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