By Miya Williams
“I want to find what will make newspapers viable again,” said MSLCE student Jessica Neary.
While some publications like the New York Times are exploring new ways to stay relevant and profitable, Neary contends that no one has quite figured it out.
“As far as online goes, I think everyone is struggling,” she said.
Neary wants to close the gap between journalism and design. She believes examining the way people read online and how information is presented can help newspapers survive.
The University of Montana grad wrote for her college newspaper but soon discovered that she hated writing. Thankfully, she found her passion with design. Neary was the paper’s page designer for two years followed by two years as a design editor. “I loved the whole atmosphere of the newsroom with design,” she said.
Neary acknowledges that she will probably have to create her own job. She will need to pitch her ideas to news organizations and convince them to change their business model. She later hopes to own her own design branding firm that allows her to consult small businesses.
The small-town Wyoming native recognizes the importance of helping small businesses. She envisions a job that will allow her to give these business owners the tools they need to be successful. She also wants the flexibility to work and travel across the country. “I don’t like to think that I’m locked in by location,” she explained.
Neary intended to move somewhere warm after finishing her undergraduate degree, but found Northwestern’s MSCLE program to be an ideal fit for her. While she finds the coursework challenging, she is also excited about the program.
“I’m doing it because I know how much it is going to be worth,” she said.