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Journalist, Student, and Supreme Court Junkie - Sam Woodward

Welcome back or welcome to my blog!

I'm so excited today to introduce the next guest blogger, Sam Woodward! She is a student and journalist who has spent the last nine months working for CNN. Sam graduates from the University of Minnesota this upcoming spring. Today she will be going over a little bit about her, what got her into journalism, and where it'll take her!

Sam and her SO enjoying a day of snowboarding/skiing!

My name is Sam, I'm a 22-year-old student and journalist based in Minneapolis. I'm honestly still trying to figure everything out — I've worked on a bunch of different beats but have found a true love for political and investigative reporting. I am graduating from the University of Minnesota in May with a dual degree in professional journalism and political science. After three straight years of reporting while being a full-time student, I decided to take off my last fall semester and soak up student life while it was still mine to enjoy! At the end of the day, I'm a writer who loves experiencing life. I try and balance the crazy world of journalism with cooking and reading to ground myself and spend as much time outdoors as possible (Minnesota weather permitting).

Drinking coffee in the CNN office!

My career started after the murder of George Floyd when I focused 99 percent of my life to protest coverage and getting to know grieving members of the Minneapolis community. I covered the Minnesota v. Chauvin trial the following year and found an interest in the court systems. I moved from working on newspapers to TV... and then newspapers...and then radio... and then digital. I wrote about COVID-19 patients' lives, the state of housing shortages in Minneapolis, and student issues at the U. I was lucky enough to get to spend the last nine months working at CNN as a writer on their political investigative unit as well as a live news team intern where I made lifelong friends and learned more than I ever thought I could. I broke news stories and wrote bylines that resulted in hate mail and praise across my newsroom. My obsession with nerdy political things like the Supreme Court has opened up so many doors for me and allowed me to make complex structures like the Court accessible to everybody! I like to focus my coverage on explanatory and breakdown pieces because news should be accessible, not only elite-accessible.

Sam live reporting from Minnesota!

I think as a student it's hard to be taken seriously in a field that is dominated by a much older generation, but as I continue to gain experience in the field and build up bylines that make a difference, I think that my age will be seen as a strength rather than a weakness. I want to be seen as someone that my sources trust and my readers can look to inform rather than a dividing figurehead in the now partisan perception of journalism. Making space for someone to be vulnerable with you as they tell you their stories and experiences is crucial to reporting. I'm so lucky to get to make relationships and listen as my career. You can find me on Instagram @samjwoody or twitter @woody reports! I am so excited to continue growing as a writer and someone that people can trust.




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I'm Paiton – a wife, mother, book lover, and coffee enthusiast based in northern Minnesota. When I'm not managing a busy household, I'm busy exploring new places and sharing our adventures. As a marketing director, I'm passionate about making a positive impact in my community.  It's not just a job for me – it's a passion.

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