From Park Scholar to Hearst Fellow: Ithaca College Grad Scores Prestigious Journalism Fellowship

By Dan Verderosa, July 6, 2016

From Park Scholar to Hearst Fellow: Recent Grad Scores Prestigious Journalism Fellowship

A recent graduate of Ithaca College has been awarded a prestigious journalism fellowship from the Hearst Foundation. Emily Masters will begin her fellowship in August as a reporter for the “Times Union” in Albany, N.Y.

The Hearst journalism fellowship is a two-year program for aspiring journalists, consisting of two 12-month rotations at different Hearst metro newspapers.

Masters, who graduated with a degree in journalism from the Roy H. Park School of Communications in May 2016, set the goal of obtaining a fellowship when she began her studies as a Park Scholar four years ago. She decided to pursue the Hearst fellowship because of the program’s focus on digital innovations and multimedia story-telling, which she became interested in through her coursework at the Park School.

“Multimedia pushes you to explore every angle of a story in creative ways,” said Masters.

Pursuing a fellowship attracted Masters because it offers the opportunity to continue to learn about journalism while working full time as a reporter.

“You’re in a position where they’re giving you an advisor, they’re helping you create mentor relationships, and putting more time and effort into training you,” said Masters.

At the daily newspaper covering the state capital, Masters will have the opportunity to pursue her interests in government and local news while reporting to the paper’s news editor.

“I’m excited to be going to Albany because it gives me the opportunity to cover a city that has an important role in state government,” said Masters.

As part of the application process, Masters and a handful of other finalists were flown to Houston for three days of interviews with top editors from Hearst publications and various tests, including current events quizzes and a mock press conference. She said her experiences at Ithaca College prepared her well for such a high-pressure situation.

“I’m very lucky to have had such a great experience at Ithaca and I’ve been prepared very well by the college,” said Masters. “I went into the finalist selection feeling confident and ready, and that had a lot to do with the internships I’ve had and the classwork I’ve done.”

During her time at Ithaca College, Masters interned with several news outlets, including the Associated Press. She helped to cover the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in 2013 and the 2016 South Carolina Republican presidential primary for NBC News.