Alumni Profile: Tim Devaney
Feb 19, 2017
Political Reporter at The Hill
WJI Class of 2009
Tim Devaney attended Cornerstone University, a non-denominational Christian school in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He attended WJI during the summer of 2009 before graduating in 2010: “The best part about WJI was being in New York City,” says Devaney, “and being able to put my journalism skills to work.”
Devaney applied the skills he learned at school and WJI and began building up a career in journalism. From Michigan to New York to Washington, D.C., Devaney has pursued breaking news with the tenacity and creativity necessary to make it as a reporter.
In 2013, Devaney participated in a journalism fellowship in Germany where he worked for The Washington Times as a foreign correspondent covering the German elections. While there, he also worked for the largest newspaper in the country, Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
Devaney later took a job at The Hill during an exciting time for the publication, watching it rise from being a smaller “insider” D.C. newspaper to competing with Politico.
At The Hill, Devaney covered the business beat before focusing more on politics. His special focus is regulatory policy. But Devaney says one exciting part of the job is getting to chase down lawmakers to get statements for his stories. One of his favorite Senators to talk to is Bernie Sanders.
“He’s really easy to grab, especially for someone who went so far in the presidential race,” said Devaney. “He’s kind of like a grumpy old Grandpa. But he always stops and talks to reporters.”
One day in October 2015, Sanders was holding a press conference about minimum wage policies. Devaney waited by the door to catch Sanders on his way out—when Sanders came passing by, Devaney was the only reporter there to talk with him. Recorder in hand, Devaney followed Sanders to his car and asked the questions needed for his story. Other reporters eventually caught up, but Devaney was the only one who got any questions answered that day.
“And at that point I just felt really good because I felt like I owned that interview,” said Devaney.
For Devaney, writing for The Hill and being on the hill has allowed him to add unique angles to his stories, whether through writing about regulatory policies that impact citizens or tracking down lawmakers to provide perspective.
“You can a story where you’re just writing about how this thing happened and then you add in, this is what lawmakers think, and it’s a whole new twist on it,” says Devaney. “So I think being on the hill strengthens your stories quite a bit.”
Devaney hopes to keep writing about politics from Washington, D.C.
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