“My favorite part of my job is that I'm always learning something,” says Sarah Fleischman ’13. Fleischman, who graduated with a degree in broadcasting (journalism concentration) and minor in sociology/anthropology, currently works as a county government reporter for The Calvert Recorder in Maryland. “I've found that I have learned to love learning about things I was not previously interested in, like nuclear power and natural gas plants,” she notes.
An avid reader and writer, Fleishman first realized her ability to use journalism as a catalyst for change when an article she wrote about insufficient safety measures in the chemistry labs at her high school lead to important changes.
In her current role, she writes 5-10 stories per week on county government, state government, and the environment. Fleischman says her schedule varies with print deadlines and meetings. “This last Wednesday, I wound up having back to back morning meetings, a training for our new content management system, then had to make calls and write stories for our Thursday deadline before I took a quick break to go to the gym and grab dinner before heading to an evening meeting I had to cover.” She adds, “Sometimes I have a lot to do and am constantly busy and other times I have almost nothing happening on my beat and have to fill my time with feature stories or larger projects.”
Fleischman admits that reporting can be a stressful, emotional job. “I've had to learn how to have a thick skin and to not let my work or people I am in contact with get me down,” she shared. “Thankfully, I work with some great people who help me through the more difficult situations.”
Her investigative skills have earned her a Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association (MDDC) second place award for environmental reporting for a series on natural gas and groundwater supplies and a Local Media Association award for in-depth reporting on citizens' concerns surrounding the expansion of a local liquefied natural gas plant.
At Messiah, Fleischman served as student director of The Pulse and completed internships at WHYY radio and Street Sense, a nonprofit newspaper about homelessness and poverty. Her favorite college memories include stargazing on cemetery hill, wearing a snuggie outside in the snow during the “snowpocalypse” that closed campus for days, and random trips to the Giant in Camp Hill to stock up on bulk candy with her roommate. “It's those memories I cherish and have filed away in my mind that I miss now that I'm in the real world," she remembers. She encourages communication students to get involved with the Pulse, as the experience they gain can serve as a launching pad for future internships and jobs.
-Emily Carter, '16