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Amid Pandemic, Emersonians a Big Presence at the Boston Globe

The home workspace of journalism sophomore Anissa Gardizy '22 this semester while writing for The Boston Globe under the news outlet's Co-op Program with Emerson College. [Courtesy Photo]
The home workspace of journalism sophomore Anissa Gardizy ’22 this semester while writing for The Boston Globe under the news outlet’s Co-op Program with Emerson College. [Courtesy Photo]

By Natalie Clydesdale ’20

This spring, Emerson College has more students participating in The Boston Globe Co-op Program than ever before, and more students than any other college. And their efforts continue in more than unusual times amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

“That just reinforces that we have incredible students and I hope we have some incredible journalistic learning going on at Emerson,” said Janet Kolodzy, professor and chair of the School of Communication’s Journalism department

According to Kolodzy, Emerson has typically had four or five students in the co-op program per year, for at least the last 10 years. This year there are seven. 

“We had a lot of students wanting it and applied,” Kolodzy said. “I think it was fabulous that the Globe had a hard time choosing the best Emerson students.” 

young man at laptop
Anissa Gardizy writes Coronavirus clouds prospects for summer internships. Pictured: Tyler Donovan, junior at UMass Dartmouth. [Lane Turner/Globe Staff]

Boston Globe Assistant Managing Editor for Hiring & Development Paula Bouknight, who’s worked at the Globe for the last 34 years, said Emerson students made a very “strong showing” during this rotation’s application process.

“I find Emerson students incredibly creative as well as capable,” she said. 

The Boston Globe Co-op Program lasts for six months, either from January to the end of June or July and until the end of December. Students granted the opportunity are required to work 40 hours a week and get paid $12 per hour. 

Having the opportunity to work at the Globe full-time is part of the program’s appeal.

“I was just interested in getting a full six months in at a city newspaper,” said Anissa Gardizy ‘22, a sophomore journalism student currently in the program. “I’ve never worked a full-time job before and that experience really can’t compare to part-time internships or summer internships.” 

The other six students in the program throughout this year’s January through June period are Grace Griffin ‘20, Stephanie Purifoy ‘21, Diti Kohli ‘21, Ally Rzesa ‘20, Stefania Lugli ‘20, and Andrew Lin ‘21. 

When applying for the co-op, students have the opportunity to choose which editorial department they want to work in.”The Globe has a wide variety of what I would call ‘topics’ they are extremely strong in,” Kolodzy said. “So having an opportunity for a student to really sort of develop a little more expertise on the job at a major metropolitan daily newspaper as award winning and as strong as the Globe is fabulous.”

Gardizy does her co-op in the Business section, Griffin and Kolhi are in the Lifestyle/Arts, Purifoy’s in the City Desk, Rzesa’s in the Design department, Lugli’s in the Globe Local and Lin is in the Sports department.  

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Lin was assigned the swimming and diving beat. In addition to writing swimming and diving stories, his daily tasks included tracking down high school sports scores, taking phone calls, overseeing the high school sports database, and taking turns doing a “stats shift.”  Lin also assisted the department with choosing the best performing winter high school sports players for the All-Scholastics edition, which honors the region’s best high school athletes and coaches in the nine winter sports. 

illustration of cats
An illustration from senior Ally Rzesa’s “The Secret Texts of Pets.”

However, because of the coronavirus, no sports are being played, which means Lin does not have any sports scores to track down or any statistics to report 

“The virus definitely had a major impact on our work so far, as we don’t have a lot to work on and communication can be difficult at times,” Lin said. 

In place of sports-related topics, the department has given Lin and the other sports co-ops tasks with the Globe’s Spotlight Team, such as gathering data and doing research on the virus. “So far, we’ve mostly been monitoring the rising numbers, noting down important details from states’ press conferences, and occasionally calling hospitals to gather information on their statuses,” said Lin. 

Gardizy’s still able to write her stories remotely, although she has less flexibility on what she can write about. “If you look at the Globe, pretty much all of the stories are about the coronavirus,” she said. “So pretty much anything that isn’t related to the coronavirus isn’t getting published right now.”

Gardizy has also had to change her routine because of COVID-19. “I thought that it would be kind of easy since I’m younger and I’m used to technology, but the day-to-day is a lot stranger than it is at the office and it definitely makes working a lot different,” she said. 

When the Globe was still open, a daily task for Gardizy was logging in and pulling stocks from a machine for the paper. Now that she’s not in the newsroom anymore, Gardizy, with the help of the Globe‘s IT department, figured out a way she could run stocks remotely from her apartment. 

Despite the changes in the co-op over the last few weeks, Gardizy still highly recommends participating in the co-op program to all Emerson students. “It’s pretty amazing because you do get a lot of free reign for how they treat you,” Gardizy said. “And seeing your byline in the Boston Globe is a pretty cool feeling.”

Lin said he also recommends the program to others and feels that Emerson has prepared him well for it. “In a lot of Emerson classes, I feel like they stress detail and quality as being better than being the fastest,” Lin said. “Emerson has helped me take on a journalist mindset and that has allowed me to excel in tasks that require a careful attention to detail and quality.” 

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