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On Oct. 26, journalist Nora Kelly Lee, a UD alumna, discussed her political journalism career with Dr. Lindsay Hoffman, director of the National Agenda speaker series.
Watch a video of the complete program. Read the transcript.
NEWARK, Del. — “Being the executive editor of the Review remains one of the highlights of my career," said Nora Kelly Lee, a proud Blue Hen who credited her journalism career to field experience at UD's independent student newspaper, the Review. The publication, celebrating its 140th birthday this year, helped Lee find her way to The Atlantic's political team. On Oct. 26, Lee joined series director Lindsay Hoffman, Ph.D., on stage at Gore Recital Hall for a talk entitled “From the Review to The Atlantic."
Lee loved the experience of “flying without a net" at the student-run newspaper. “We really felt like we were on our own and it was an amazing experience to know that we were 100 percent in charge and that our successes were 100 percent ours. Obviously, our failures were 100 percent ours. But that was a really wonderful thing," said Lee.
For aspiring journalists, Lee highlighted the importance of internships and networking. Students looking to become journalists may find themselves intimidated, especially when networking with professionals in the “real-world." “It's scary to put yourself out there," said Lee. “But everyone that you talk to in the professional world was once right there in your place." Lee knew because she was there — during her time at UD.
The 2012 UD graduate earned a B.A. in Spanish language and literature and minors in journalism and political science. After graduation, Lee worked as an assistant managing editor for Philadelphia Magazine, a copy editor for Science magazine, and a staff correspondent for National Journal before moving to The Atlantic.
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An audience member, UD senior Kyshawn Brown, asked a question during Nora Kelly Lee’s National Agenda speaking engagement inside UD’s Roselle Center for the Arts.
At The Atlantic, Lee directed coverage of the 2018 and 2020 elections, both impeachments of President Donald Trump, and the January 6 insurrection, among other major stories. With her political expertise, she and Dr. Hoffman discussed political polarization today, Gen-Z's impact on politics, being an editor, and the upcoming midterm elections.
“I think each individual young voter needs to recognize their power," Lee stated. “You might vote for people who won't give you everything that you want, but if they can give you some of what you want, that's typically considered a success in this country." On the ballot in the 2022 midterm elections on Nov. 8 were all 435 U.S. House seats and 35 of the 100 Senate seats.
As Lee's career shifted to a national focus, she found that her local news background provided a good perspective. As local journalism has dwindled over time, its importance has become more evident. With the upcoming midterms, Lee said it is more important than ever that young people educate themselves about political issues facing their state. “Don't just read The Atlantic, don't just read the New York Times, don't just read the Washington Post. Read the local news outlets that we've been talking about this session because those reporters that are on the ground, in the communities, they're going to be able to tell you a lot that you're not going to get from polls in those same communities."
For information about National Agenda, including links to videos, news stories, and transcripts, visit www.cpc.udel .edu/nationalagenda. Lindsay Hoffman, Ph.D., an associate professor of communication and political science at UD, directs the series. This year's theme, "Reflecting America," examined how this historic era of political divides, social movements, and economic upheavals — fueled by the pandemic and politics — is redefining America. National Agenda is free and open to the public. It is made possible with support from the University of Delaware's Office of the Provost and the College of Arts and Sciences.
Article by Gina Cosenza, University of Delaware senior and intern for the University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication
Image by Evan Krape
Video by University Media Services