Name: Rishika Dugyala
College publication: The Daily Northwestern
Where I am now: Digital Strategy Editor at POLITICO
The Daily Northwestern is where I found the people I still rely on today and my love for what journalism could be — despite the industry’s flaws. Everyone in my J school always said, “the real learning happens outside of the classroom, at student publications.” They were right. We learned to not take concepts like “objectivity” at its word. We learned how to reform a publication that has harmed marginalized communities in the past, but was trying to chart a new path. We learned how to take care of our mental health as journalists. And we learned that we don’t have to follow strict industry practices to be successful, that we can push the boundaries of “business as usual.” The industry is going through a transformation right now, and student newsrooms are incredibly vital to help young people re-envision the future of journalism and encourage them to take their seat at that table. At least, it was for me.