Simpson Street Free Press talks journalism, law school with former Cap Times reporter Negassi Tesfamichael

Cris Cruz, 17 & Josepha Da Costa:

Negassi Tesfamichael is a former education reporter at The Capital Times. Simpson Street Free Press reporters recently had a chance to catch up with Negassi, who is finishing his first year at the Pritzker School of Law at Northwestern University. In his tenure at the Cap Times, Negassi covered important topics like the School Resource Officer debate, a changing school board, and the challenges of keeping teachers in the classroom. As Simpson Street Free Press students interested in media, Cris Cruz and Josepha Da Costa asked Negassi about his interest in the field of journalism. They were also eager to learn about his experiences in law school so far.

When did you become interested in the field of journalism? Did you major in journalism when you were in college?

I became interested in following the news a lot in middle school, partly because it was my way of getting to talk about current events. I think the 2008 election of Barack Obama got me interested in politics and current events more generally, and journalism felt like a way to participate in that. My high school had a student newspaper that I got involved in, which furthered my interest in the field as I got ready to go to college.

I majored in Political Science and English in college. Even though I did not major in journalism, I got a lot of journalism experience while working for one of UW-Madison’s college newspapers, The Daily Cardinal. I’ve met people in journalism who did major in journalism and those who didn’t — there really isn’t a right answer, as long as you find ways to get some sort of experience.