We recently caught up with Hadley Hitson, former Daily Mississippian managing editor, to see where her career has taken her. Hitson, 22, graduated from UM last May earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minors in Spanish and digital media studies.
The Birmingham, Alabama native now resides in Montgomery, Alabama, covering the rural South and Black Belt communities for the Montgomery Advertiser. Her official title is “rural South reporter,” and she is a Report for America Corps member.
Q. Tell me a little about your career path after college and your current job and responsibilities?
A. Report for America is a national service program that places journalists with local news outlets to cover under-served topics or communities, and after applying to the program while I was a senior at UM, I was matched with the Advertiser. Due to the collapse of local journalism over the past decade, news coverage has become limited in some of the poorest counties in the nation, including many in the Black Belt region. Report for America operates with the goal of filling these gaps in national coverage.
Through the program’s partnership with the Montgomery Advertiser, my job is to examine access to health care, education and other services while providing news coverage for these rural Alabama communities — not just about them.
Q. How did the UM School of Journalism and New Media help you prepare for the real world?
A. Apart from the basic skills of learning how to write a lead and structure a compelling article, the UM School of Journalism and New Media taught me how to think like a journalist. Starting my freshman year, my teachers and advisers encouraged me to ask questions beyond the obvious and carefully consider the context in which every story is framed.
I also worked at The Daily Mississippian for all four of my years at UM, which played a huge role in preparing me for the real world. I had a public audience reading my work, and I had very real deadlines to meet. Moreover, the DM showed me everything that a newsroom is about — pitching stories, defending angles and asking for help when you need it.
Q. What are your hopes for the future?
A. My hopes for the future are to continue providing news coverage to communities that need it and emphasizing the importance of Southern voices that often get lost in national media. I’m also looking forward to making UM (and the DM) proud. Hotty Toddy!Tags: best journalism schools, best marketing schools, featured, Hadley Hitson, imc, journalism, Montgomery Advertiser, Report for America, University of Mississippi, University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media