“I learned the digital skills I needed for this job from my degree, and Georgetown helped me to polish my understanding of editing, curation and the importance of Twitter to the news cycle.”
We are proud to feature Terry Mulcahy as our July Alumnus of the Month. Terry is a web producer for POLITICO where he gets to apply many of the skills he learned at Georgetown every day. He has interned, freelanced, and worked for a number of top news organizations in Washington, D.C. Read more about how Terry stays update-to-date on new technology and where he would like to be in the next five years.
MPS Journalism: Why did you choose to attend Georgetown’s Journalism program?
Terry Mulcahy: The program sounded like a very well-rounded one, with the option to specialize and to “go deep” on certain aspects of journalism – and that’s exactly what I wanted. I also knew that I wanted to study in Washington, D.C. where journalism thrives, and Georgetown offered the most enticing Master’s program. When I was researching the program online, I saw that the faculty were all working journalists, who were embedded in the biggest and most exciting newsrooms in the industry, which really excited me.
MPS JO: Tell us how has your degree from the Journalism program helped you in your current job?
TM: I’m a Web producer at POLITICO, which involves packaging stories for the Web, improving SEO potential, selecting art and editing headlines and teases. Our team also manages the various social media accounts, and the overarching philosophy is one of speed and accuracy. I learned the digital skills I needed for this job from my degree, and Georgetown helped me to polish my understanding of editing, curation and the importance of Twitter to the news cycle. Taking Derek Willis’ data reporting class gave me an understanding of data and graphics that I use to help POLITICO expand our reach into infographics and data journalism.
I also have to shout out to the fantastic political reporting class run by David Chalian and Brooke Brower. That class helped me realize how much I love American politics but it also helped me to decode political language, posturing and “spectacle”..!
MPS JO: What is your favorite memory from your time at the MPS Journalism program?
TM: My classmates. They were a group of deeply intelligent, interesting people who were all working in the industry. All of my classes stimulated smart discussion, but Carole Feldman’s ethics class and Howard Yoon’s narrative nonfiction were classes where my colleagues really bounced some cool ideas around.
MPS JO: How do you stay updated on journalism trends and the ever-evolving digital world?
TM: Honestly my job demands that I keep one ear on the evolving trends of digital journalism. POLITICO are very forward-thinking and editors are always interested in expanding our digital reach. I recommend following other journalists on Twitter, joining groups like ONADC (Online News Association D.C.) and catching up with classmates – so many of them are working in the business, that they’ll probably have heard of the latest thing you might not yet know about!
MPS JO: In the recent months have you worked on any projects you are particularly proud of?
TM: I helped POLITICO expand our use of infographics in stories by suggesting, testing and learning about new software. I make graphics weekly for our website and I’m always excited to experiment with different chart types, data sets and interactive visuals. I’m hoping to make data journalism and infographics a big part of my career moving forward!
MPS JO: Where do you see yourself in five years?
TM: I’d love to be in an editorial role, supervising a small team. I love politics but I also really enjoy local news and the stories of so-called “regular” people in the community, too. With that said I hope to always keep abreast of digital trends and interactive opportunities, as keep an audience engaged is not only important, but fun too!