School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Q & A with Matthew Hendley; 60 Minutes intern and News21 fellow

Posted on: November 27th, 2019 by ldrucker

Matthew Hendley, a University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media student, has been selected for News21, a national college journalism program that tackles one tough subject every year.

Hendley is a junior broadcast journalism major from Madison, Mississippi. He has worked as a NewsWatch Ole Miss anchor, play-by-play announcer for Rebel Radio and local government reporter at the Beat Reporter. In his freshman year, Hendley won first place in the Southeast Journalism Conference TV newscast anchoring competition.

We asked Hendley a few questions about the program and other journalism opportunities he has experienced through UM.

Q: In 2020, News21 will be examining violent crimes committed by juveniles across the country and how they are treated before, during and after incarceration. Do you think this will be an interesting topic to explore?

A: This project is going to be extremely interesting to dive into. I’ll be in a class for the entire spring semester dedicated solely to this topic. Nearly 53,000 youth are held in facilities away from home as a result of juvenile or criminal justice involvement on any given day. Though I’m still fresh on this topic, I think it will be fascinating to look deeper into the more serious crimes that juveniles commit, and how that affects their image in the eyes of the justice system, as well as society.

Matthew Hendley at 60 Minutes.

Matthew Hendley at 60 Minutes.

Q: Brittany Brown, another student who was enrolled in our program, worked with News21 recently. Have you had a chance to talk to her about her experience?

A: Brittany thinks very highly of the program. I think the experience was great for her, and the work she and her team produced is evidence of that. “Hate in America” (the name of the documentary Brown and her team produced) was excellent journalism. Brittany gave me tips for my application and even put in a good word. She and others made it a very smooth process.

Q: What led you to apply for the opportunity?

A. The school sends an application to the program on behalf of one student, so when Dr. Wenger asked me if I would consider applying, I jumped on the opportunity. I owe my gratitude to my advisors, mentors and deans. I feel very honored.

Q: What do you hope to gain from the experience?

A: It’ll be cool to be at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State. Chasing the story around the country will be fun. I look forward to working with a team of journalists from places vastly different than Mississippi. Dublin? British Columbia? That’s pretty awesome. I’m excited to see how we approach this project given our various backgrounds. My hope is that my lens continues to widen as I’m exposed to the experiences and difficulties of those involved in our investigation. The News21 teams in the past have produced impressive, award-winning works of journalism. I have faith that we’ll do the same.

Matthew Hendley at 60 Minutes.

Matthew Hendley at 60 Minutes.

Q: You are currently interning in New York with the long-running television news program “60 Minutes.” What has that experience been like?

A: “60 Minutes” is going well and just about to wrap up. It’s always interesting working in a news environment in the time we live in. Obviously, “60 Minutes” isn’t your typical newsroom. I’m observing and learning how to take it slow and really investigate a story through research and preparation. It is incredible to see how many elements are involved in creating what ends up going on air. The editorial eye here is world class, and I feel privileged that they even let me in the building.

News21’s participating universities include Butler University, DePauw University, Dublin City (Ireland) University, Elon University, Kent State University, Morgan State University, St. Bonaventure University, Syracuse University, University of British Columbia, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Illinois, University of Iowa, University of Mississippi, University of North Texas, University of Oklahoma and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. In addition, approximately a dozen ASU students will be part of the program.

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