Randolph-Macon College alumna Dory Jackson ’16 majored in communication studies and minored in journalism—disciplines that suit her outgoing, inquisitive nature. Now a reporter and journalist in New York City who covers breaking entertainment news for Newsweek, Jackson says her RMC education helped shape her career path.
Five Randolph-Macon courses were especially important in helping Jackson prepare for a never-a-dull-moment career: Media Writing, Basic News Writing, Feature Writing, Public Speaking, and TV Production.
“I learned how to write for different areas of media, including TV news packages,” she recalls. “I also learned how to craft nut graphs (a paragraph that explains the news value of the story) and news ledes; write long-form pieces; pitch stories to publications; speak effectively; and edit videos. These are skills that I use every day.”
Internships + Good Advice
Jackson did four internships—at DC Life Magazine; Beauty Within TV; Press Pass LA (a company that later hired her as a freelance writer) and On Tap Magazine—which solidified her plan to have a career in media. She also worked with staff in the EDGE, RMC’s four-year career preparation program, who put her in touch with Blaise Miller ’99 to get career advice. Miller lives in L.A., where he works in commercials, TV and film.
“We are both passionate about entertainment careers,” says Jackson. “I want to eventually do more video and television work, and the tips Blaise shared with me were very helpful.”
From Freelance to Full-time
After graduating from RMC, Jackson freelanced for Celebuzz, Nicki Swift and Celeb Secrets while continuing her work with Press Pass LA. Her freelance work allowed her to cover popular events such as the Tribeca Film Festival. In 2017 she landed her first full-time position, with International Business Times, a digital news brand, where she worked as a viral news reporter. She then moved over to Newsweek. “I’m forever grateful to Newsweek for giving me this shot,” she says, “because it allows me to cover the things I enjoy most.”
A Writer at Heart
Jackson loves that her job gives her the opportunity to meet celebrities, and to write about pop culture. Her articles are “like a public diary,” says Jackson, who served as features editor for the Yellow Jacket student newspaper during her senior year at RMC. “I get to write about what my favorite singers are up to, and about movies and television shows that interest me.”
Jackson credits RMC’s dedicated faculty with helping prepare her for life after college.
“RMC’s small classes allow you to connect with faculty,” she says. “For example, Communication Studies Professor Joan Conners was both my teacher and advisor. She was a dream mentor—so encouraging and hopeful. We still keep in touch via social media!”