The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

Journalism 101 with Experienced Editors

Journalism+101+with+Experienced+Editors

Audrey Jarrett

Staff Writer

In journalism, the expectations are high no matter what form of media it is. Two experienced journalists, Jon DeNunizo and Mick Heller told what their journalism careers were like and how they became editors when at the height of their careers. 

At the Washington Post where DeNunizo and Heller worked, DeNunizo said that the best part of his career was that there were so many good parts, “but the part I enjoyed the most actually was the part when I moved from working on the print to the website, and working in digital journalism took with me immediately.” 

Hearing from Heller, “He [DeNunizo] was tech savvy, [when he and I started,] early on we were so print-oriented.” However, DeNunizo became prepared very differently from Heller, “probably the English and writing classes I took and the teachers I had who emphasized the value of good, clear, and concise writing. I subscribed to Sports Illustrated when I was at a very young age.”

 Even though DeNunizo seemed like he sort of knew what he wanted to be when he grew up, he said that he really didn’t. “I went to college thinking maybe I would want to try working for the school paper like maybe it would be a fun club to join in college. And then as time went on and college went on, I thought oh, maybe I’ll keep doing this.” Going from a simple college paper to the Washington Post is a very big step. While DeNunizo said that he followed a traditional path to journalism, he had many jobs working for papers in between senior year and the Post. “[Before my senior year,] I interned at the Richmond Times. Then, I worked for a local paper in Charlottesville. Got an internship in the summer of my last year in college.” 

Heller’s career was far different from DeNunizo’s. He started as an English major involved in his college radio station. Loving American fiction and being inclined towards reading and writing, Heller never predicted he would have a job as an editor for the Post later on, “I was an English major in college, and I knew I wanted to write…I had worked for the radio station so it was kinda hard at the beginning [of my application] because I didn’t have any newspaper clips to show newspapers”. 

He was working at a local weekly paper before he had landed at the Post. “I think a good journalist has to be curious and so once I started asking questions for stories, I enjoyed that part of the process,” Heller said. 

Heller’s decision to use his experience to help at a local high school stems mostly from interaction with students “I love the enthusiasm of the students. I feel as though most of you are here for the newspapers or in writing, and so it’s exciting and rewarding.”

Photo courtesy of Jon Denunizo and Mick Heller

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Journalism 101 with Experienced Editors