Gary James'10 Wins Journal Review Scholarship

by Sam King

December 14, 2007

While many of today’s young adults rely on the Internet and TV to get the news, Wabash College sophomore Gary James is an exception.

"Call me a romantic or call me old school, but I love print journalism," James said smiling.

James recently won the Journal Review scholarship through the college, intended for students at Wabash with a keen interest in the newspaper field. The endowed scholarship was established in 1987 by Freedom Newspapers, Inc. which owned the paper at that time. It has been awarded to some 23 students.

James aspires to be a journalist despite going to a liberal arts school that doesn’t have a journalism program. Still, he feels like he is getting a journalism education. James said Howard Hewitt, advisor of Wabash’s student newspaper The Bachelor, has taken him under his wing.

James joined The Bachelor staff in the fall of his freshman year after reading an e-mail notifying new students of a call-out meeting. It wasn’t long after that James was investigating controversy over the planning of a Hootie & the Blowfish concert. He took his writing and reporting a step further, writing online pieces for Wabash’s Web site through the college’s public affairs office.

The first time James realized what influence print journalism could have was in high school when he was trying to attend the Junior Statesman Summer School at Yale University. Needing to raise $4,000 in 30 days, James sent out press releases to a newspaper in the Meridian, Miss. area.

"The response was great," said James, who ended up attending the summer school.

Since then, James’ passion for journalism has increased. He’s taken on tougher assignments, such as interviewing Holocaust survivor Eva Kor. He’s managed to balance working at the student newspaper — where his short-term goal is to become news editor — while also writing a story per week on average for the public affairs office and taking on a full class load.

"I have found a way to do something I love while delivering what I consider to be an essential service to my community," James said.

James may attend a journalism graduate school after Wabash. Right now he is just looking for an internship, saying the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, the Baltimore Sun and Philadelphia Daily News are among those piquing his interest.

This story first appeared in the Dec. 3 Journal Review. King is a reporter for JR.


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