Ohio Journalist

Scripps Alumni Post Performance

By Mark Kors | Photo by Bob Stewart

(December 1, 2015) — Three graduates of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism burnish the school’s prestige through their work at the Washington Post.

Wesley Lowery is the most recent Bobcat to join the iconic Washington newspaper, hired in February as a political reporter after stints at the Los Angeles Times and the Boston Globe.

Back in the summer, the former editor of The Post live-Tweeted and video recorded his own arrest at a local Mc- Donald’s in Ferguson, Mo., bringing national attention to his reporting of protests related to the shooting death of a local teenager.

Lowery had quickly climbed the journalism ranks while at the Boston Globe, covering the Boston bombings and the murder trial of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. Lowery, named NABJ’s Emerging Journalist of the Year in 2014, was part of the staff that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Boston bombing.

He credited OU as a great training ground for honing his skills, which prepared him for work at top newspapers. He also praised the Scripps network of alumni for helping to show him the ropes.

“At the Post I got to write hundreds of articles if not thousands of articles,” Lowery said. “I edited hundreds of articles, and that really gave me the opportunity to practice a lot of these skills that now I have to do at the highest level every single day.”

Matt Zapotosky, a 2008 graduate and now federal courts reporter at the Washington Post, highlighted the Ohio University advantage, “People go to OU and when they leave, they get great jobs,” he said. “It’s not a coincidence.”

Zapotosky first interned with the Washington Post in 2007. He was editor of the Post in 2008 and credited his instruction and work at the student paper for landing a full-time position upon graduation. He admitted that while students from Ivy League schools surround him, his experience at OU was key, separating him from the pack. He said he came in more prepared than his fellow interns because of what he learned while at the Post.

Katie Carrera, also a 2008 graduate, has been with the Washington Post for six years, and until recently was the beat writer for the Washington Capitals.

“The fact that we and others have landed at The Washington Post encourages people to see that as a possibility, and OU is better for it,” Carrera said. After covering the Capitals, she transitioned to working as a homepage producer in early June. “I wanted to make a transition to the behind-the-scenes side of our journalism, working in a hands-on environment with our content management system, helping to bring users the best of our content on the home pages, iPad, iPhone and Android apps,” Carrera said.

Andy Alexander, current Scripps Howard Visiting Professional at Ohio University, was the Washington Post ombudsman from 2009-2011. He said the success of Bobcats in high-profile jobs shows the quality of education and experience at the school.

“What it says is that we can produce people that come out of this journalism school or out of this college who can immediately compete at the upper levels. Internally within the Washington Post, the competition is fierce, and that’s not easy for everyone to make that transition immediately in such a competitive environment,” Alexander said.

Zapotosky said the alumni who have jobs have helped blaze a trail of quality work for Ohio students currently and for future graduates.

“In a way, the graduates are building a brand,” Zapotosky said. “People at the Washington Post see me or see Katie [Carrera] and think, ‘wow they’re doing pretty good work.’ And then the next time someone from OU applies, they know that OU has prepared its graduates to do good work at the Washington Post.”

Download the PDF attached to this article

Name Index