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SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM AND MASS COMMUNICATION NEWS

August 6, 2007
Photo of Kate McGinty on phone interview
Drake Alum and Gannett Talent Development Program participant Kate McGinty.

Alum selected for Gannett superstar program

Earlier this year, Kate McGinty, JO'07, was just one of 350 applicants for Gannett Co. Inc.'s new annual Talent Development Program. Today, McGinty is one of the first class of 32 college graduates chosen nationwide for the program.

“Early this spring, I sent out a flood of resumes and cover letters, including one more general application to Gannett-run newspapers. One day in early April, I was literally minutes away from accepting a job offer in Miami when I got a phone call from Gannett, offering me a position in the Talent Development Program,” McGinty said.

McGinty said much of the training you need in journalism comes from hands-on experience, but her professors gave her a solid foundation from which to start. She said she now she sees her professors as wise friends with whom she can share her excitement

“She was bright, inquisitive, hard-working student. She took advantage of all the opportunities that Drake offered her, but she also had the initiative to seek out internships at KCCI-TV and USA Today, which gave her the journalism and multimedia skills that really make her stand out among the other students entering the field,” said Kathleen Richardson, associate professor and director of the SJMC.

Richardson describes a number of qualities that helped McGinty succeed at Drake and earn a spot in the program at The Post-Crescent in Appleton, Wis., where she worked as a general metro desk reporter on the newspaper. Before her current position, McGinty interned at USA Today as a newsroom intern, freelanced for The Des Moines Register, interned for KCCI as a web intern and worked for Germany Today for the Junior Journalists program that placed college journalists to Berlin.

“To me, the program offers the best of all worlds by not only training me more intensely in multimedia, but also offering me a full-time job with one of the world’s biggest publishers,” McGinty said.

The Gannett Talent Development Program aims to recruit, hire and train graduates, and guide them through training at Gannett locations throughout the country such as daily community papers, TV stations as well as USA Today. Participants train for 10 weeks, earn an entry level salary and receive a guaranteed job offer for a full-time position once they have completed the program.

McGinty was recently offered a full-time position at The Post-Crescent and looks forward to the added responsibility. “After I accepted the position, an editor here told me it’s as though I jumped ahead a few steps to be employed full-time by a Gannett paper so early in my career. I owe part of that to my Drake professors and internships with KCCI and the Register,” she said.

More information about the Talent Development program is available online.