It is with a deep sense of pride for everyone connected to the Event News Enterprise that we announce Chapman University graduate Macy Meinhardt has been selected to be included in the first ever cohort of journalists selected to participate in the State of California’s $25 million Local News Fellowship program.
Macy, who graduated from Wilkinson College at Chapman University last week with a bachelor’s degree in English, is now under consideration by six state news organizations in the program being administered by the Graduate School of the U.C. Berkeley School of Journalism.
What makes Macy’s selection so fulfilling is that before Macy began her two-semester internship at ENE, she said she was not even sure she wanted to be a journalist.
“Before joining the team, I wasn’t sure if this was a path I wanted to pursue. I loved to read and write, and I hoped maybe that could lead me to an opportunity to write for something along the lines of a fashion or pop-culture blog,” she said.
“However, a twist of fate led me to be assigned something perhaps less glamorous (ENE), but so incredibly important and fulfilling, which was local reporting. I did not know what being an active and informed citizen truly meant before this year,” said Meinhardt in an essay about her experience.
“Interning at ENE this past year under the guidance of David Young has left an indelible mark on my journey as a journalist,” Macy wrote in her essay.
Readers will remember that over the past year, Meinhardt has written some compelling stories, in some cases chronicling the ongoing tussle between some citizens in the City of Cypress and their attempts to make their voices heard.
Before writing her first story, we asked Macy to do an exhaustive list of research so that she could be better acquainted with the city, its makeup, local government, etc.
Before long, however, Macy was thrust into a maelstrom of activities that have marked some of the meetings in Cypress in the recent past. For her, it was an introduction to a real world view that very few college students ever get to experience.
There she was, speaking with government officials and, in some cases, going house to house to speak with everyday citizens to listen to their stories about their attempts to make themselves understood.
Macy had to learn quickly about how complex the art of politics can become between citizens and council of members they elect to govern them.
“This internship gave me the opportunity to learn from the brave and outspoken citizens from communities such as Cypress,” said Macy.
“Whether it was going door to door to ask residents about their city trash policies or listening to hours-worth of city council meetings and public comment, the voices of the community inspired me to reflect on what it means to stand up for democracy and secured my ambition as a journalist,” Meinhardt reflected.
In addition, ENE was recognized by Chapman University’s Career and Professional Development team.
“On behalf of Chapman University’s Career and Professional Development team, we personally would like to share our sincere gratitude and appreciation for the support offered to our students during their recent internship with you,” wrote Laura C. Noga, from Chapman University.
“Your continued guidance and mentorship play such a significant role throughout our Chapman student’s professional journey,” she said.
Hopefully, Macy’s experience sets an example from our newest generation of graduations, caught in a world of political polarization and the unforgiving rising tide of social media influence.
Every generation must learn to fight for good government, demanding truth and accountability from local officials on its own terms. That Macy did so well in such a short time is in itself, perhaps an encouraging sign.
For Macy, working in the real world of journalism, even at the height of conflict, has opened her eyes to how communities must learn to govern themselves.
“Thanks to our coverage of local communities, and the mentorship of Mr. Young, this experience has been a pivotal steppingstone for my future,” she wrote.
“I found a greater purpose and deeper appreciation for journalism, and I am so thankful I can continue to grow this mission the next two years through the UC Berkeley local news fellowship program.”
Macy’s rapid transformation into an outstanding journalist is a credit to her fearless quest for truth and governmental accountability. Once she learned the ground rules, Miss Meinhardt’s instinct and intellect did the rest.
Let’s face it, all adults of a certain age should realize that our actions today are simply investing in a better world for tomorrow, the proverbial example of planting trees for which they will never experience the shade.
Atttending Chapman University’s graduation ceremony with Carl and Tammy Meinhardt, of Houston, Macy’s parents was an honor. Macy has been a joy to work with and it was great to meet her family.
And for sure, Macy will always have somewhat of a unique story to tell, like “a funny thing happened to me on my way to an internship.” Thankfully for all of us, she stepped onto a surprising path, embraced it and as a result, the promise of her fulfillment will over the years undoubtedly lead to meaningful stories for readers along the way.
Congrats to all the grads of 2023. We are grateful that Macy’s twist of fate led her to our editorial pages and we hope to see a few more stories before she is selected by one of the six news organizations interested in having Macy complete her graduate fellowship.
We all wish Macy the best of luck. Readers somewhere can look forward to the promise of great journalism produced by a courageous reporter in the uncertain years ahead.