Neil Kenworthy: The Journey to Journalism

 

739 words

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By: Sarah Rowan

For some students, the journey toward their future career is a straight-shot, but for 21-year-old journalism major Neil Kenworthy, it’s a little different. After attending three different colleges and universities, Kenworthy is definitely not your typical student.

Kenworthy’s path toward journalism began at Anne Arundel Community College, where he worked as the editor of their independent newspaper, “Campus Current.”

As editor, he worked with an extremely small staff of five writers, where he spent time trying to scrounge together what the previous editors had left behind.

“We were super understaffed,” Kenworthy said. “I was basically picking it up from scratch.”

During his time as editor, Kenworthy worked to revamp the newspaper’s on-campus presence by redoing the print layout and the website.

“So, I guess that’s my one little mark there,” Kenworthy said. “That was pretty cool.”

He began work at Campus Current when he took an introduction to journalism class, taught by professor Sheri Venema. Similar to the news reporting classes offered at Towson University, the class gave Kenworthy experience with pitching story ideas and news-writing.

After submitting a few stories, Venema advised that he explore AACC’s Campus Current, where he became editor the following semester.

“Overall, being editor was interesting,” Kenworthy said. “I didn’t think much of it when I was getting myself into it, but it’s different than being a writer.”

However, Kenworthy did not always want to study journalism. In fact, during his freshmen year of college, he had no idea what he wanted to do.

Kenworthy, who has lived in Annapolis, Maryland for his entire life, began his college career at St. John’s University in Queens, New York City.

His brother, Chris, lives in Brooklyn, and Kenworthy has always loved the city.

“Truthfully, once I graduate here, I’d love to move up there and start my career and second life and all that stuff,” Kenworthy said.

“I was just not really all that mature,” Kenworthy said. “I would go out a lot, and I spent a lot of money. Next thing I knew, I was broke and getting homesick, because all of my friends stayed [in Maryland].”

After one semester in New York, Kenworthy decided to move home to Annapolis, where he attended AACC until he graduated with his Associate’s degree in fall 2015.

He decided to attend Towson in the spring 2017 semester over University of Maryland, College Park because of the easier commute.

Kenworthy currently lives in an Annapolis with his girlfriend and friends. He works weekend shifts at Deep Creek Restaurant in Arnold, Maryland.

At Towson, he credits his best experiences to his professors in the mass communication department, especially assistant professor John Kirch, whose news reporting class Kenworthy took in the fall 2016 semester.

“I have nothing but good things to say about Dr. Kirch,” Kenworthy said. “Truthfully, I guess my favorite experience so far has been working with him.”

Kenworthy also took an internship with Maroon PR for summer 2017, where he worked with the Cal Ripken World Series in Aberdeen, Maryland.

Assigned as a reporter for Team Mexico, Kenworthy spent time working with video, writing and social media as he followed the team through the tournament.

“That was really cool, because it was just such a well-rounded experience,” Kenworthy said. “I was doing a little bit of everything.”

With only three classes left, Kenworthy plans to graduate in December 2017. Before he leaves, he hopes to write at The Towerlight, Towson’s independent student-run newspaper, during his last semester.

“It’s kind of crazy to think about,” Kenworthy said. “It’s funny because I’m still super focused on school, but at the same time in the back of my head, I’ve got to be looking out for internship opportunities…and job opportunities.”

As for the future, Kenworthy hopes to first get experience working in a newsroom, small or large. Currently, he is looking into a job at the Severna Park Voice, a community newspaper.

However, investigative reporting is Kenworthy’s favorite area of journalism, and one of his favorite books is “Homicide” by David Simon.

While he admits he needs some practice with investigative reporting, he would love to work in that field or in sports-writing, specifically with baseball.

“Sports would be preferable, but I’m up for whatever when it comes to that stuff,” Kenworthy said. “Later on, I’d love to get my graduate and my masters, but not right off the bat. I need a little bit of a break from school.”

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