Luke produces The Minnesota Daily's podcast "In The Know"
What is your major and what made you decide to pursue it?
I have always best expressed myself through writing and felt that understanding current events is crucial to being a good citizen. When I realized that helping other people understand current events through writing was a major -- journalism -- I declared it.
What has been your favorite part of your experience at the Hubbard School?
The most rewarding part of journalism school is my relationship with my professors, especially Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Ison and media law expert Jane Kirtley. Journalists across the country would kill for ten minutes with them, but to me, they’re mentors.
What journalism class or professor has had the biggest impact on you?
The professor who has had the greatest impact on me is easily Jane Kirtley, in particular her courses about First Amendment law. The United States affords freedom of speech, including freedom of the press, higher protections than any country on earth. I speak and write more carefully after realizing how hard-won that right is.
What minors, internships, or activities are you pursuing outside of your major?
I produce In the Know, a weekly news podcast for the Minnesota Daily. Building an audio portfolio can be difficult since it requires special equipment, but the Daily has given me the chance to produce and host more than 40 radio stories.
What course would you recommend for other students in your major?
Jane Kirtley’s Contemporary Problems in Freedom of Speech and Press. Most college courses teach you about the history of a subject, but this course examines problems with freedom of speech as they are unfolding today: Wikileaks, Facebook’s data policies, the Daily Northwestern controversy. My opinions feel relevant in a way that they don’t in other college classes because the “right” answers to the questions we study haven’t been settled yet.
What is your dream job?
My dream job is to be a United States ambassador and producer and host of my own politics podcast.
What advice do you have for future Hubbard School students?
Do the mentor program. It’s a free opportunity to be mentored by a professional in your dream field. My mentor was a managing editor at MPR who, on top of answering hundreds of questions, helped me find internships, introduced me to a producer of my favorite podcast, and reviewed my cover letters and resume. To not do it is to squander one of the journalism school’s best opportunities.
What is one aspect of your major that surprised you?
When I started journalism school, I didn’t know or care about law. But Professor Kirtley’s First Amendment courses showed me how First Amendment law is the cornerstone of journalism in the United States. If you care about journalism, you care about First Amendment law, you might just not know it yet.
What do you wish you had known about your career path before now?
At its core, journalism is asking questions and writing down the answers as clearly as possible. I waited to start reporting until I got into journalism school because I didn’t think I had the tools. If you have a pen and a question, you have the tools. Had I realized that, I could have given myself a bigger head start.