Mentor of the Month: Roxanne Patel Shepelavy

Instead of a traditional paired mentor-mentee program this year, we are featuring monthly Q&A’s with mentors about how they broke into journalism, what their day is like, and any advice they have for young journalists. From there, students or anyone else (“mentees”) can email the mentors with any questions or set up informational interviews.

Our seventh Mentor of the Month is Roxanne Patel Shepelavy (@roxanneshep), Executive Editor of The Philadelphia Citizen. Ask her anything via roxanne@shepelavy.com.

Q: What is your current gig? How long have you been working there?

I am Executive Editor of The Philadelphia Citizen, a nonprofit media organization with a dual mission: To produce journalism with a solutions-oriented bent, and to engage the citizens of Philadelphia in making this city better. I’ve been a part of The Citizen for over a year. We started as a blog in November 2014, and are launching a full website in September 2015.

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Mentor of the Month: Porus Cooper

Instead of a traditional paired mentor-mentee program this year, we are featuring monthly Q&A’s with mentors about how they broke into journalism, what their day is like, and any advice they have for young journalists. From there, students or anyone else (“mentees”) can email the mentors with any questions or set up informational interviews.

Our eighth Mentor of the Month is Porus Cooper, Assistant New Jersey Editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Ask him anything via poruscooper@hotmail.com.

Q: What is your current position/outlet?

I am currently Assistant New Jersey Editor at the The Philadelphia Inquirer, a position I have held for the last 4 years or so. I am nearing 30 years at the Inquirer.

Q: Did you always want to work in journalism? How did you break into the newspaper industry?

I became a journalist rather than a lawyer because my first job happened to be at a newspaper. I was also drawn to the law, and actually attended law school for a year. I “broke into the industry” quite by accident: I was attending law school when one of my childhood friends (who knew of my passion for journalism from my schooldays) noticed that the Times of India (I grew up in Bombay, India) had advertised for trainee journalists. I applied and was selected.

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Mentor of the Month: Nydia Han

Instead of a traditional paired mentor-mentee program this year, we are featuring monthly Q&A’s with mentors about how they broke into journalism, what their day is like, and any advice they have for young journalists. From there, students or anyone else (“mentees”) can email the mentors with any questions or set up informational interviews.

Our sixth Mentor of the Month is Nydia Han (@nydia_han), consumer reporter and co-anchor of Action News Sunday mornings for 6abc. Ask her anything via Nydia.H.Han@abc.com.

Q: What is your current position/outlet?

I’m an anchor/consumer investigative reporter/Troubleshooter for 6abc Action News, the ABC owned and operated station in Philadelphia. Our call letters are WPVI-TV.

Q: Did you always want to work in journalism? How did you break into TV news?

I went to Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism with the intention of writing for magazines. I knew I wanted to be a journalist since high school but I accidentally “caught” the TV bug after doing an internship at KGO, the ABC station in San Francisco, while in college. I loved the medium… the power of moving pictures/audio, the immediacy, and the energy of the TV news environment.

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Mentor of the Month: Drew Lazor

Instead of a traditional paired mentor-mentee program this year, we are featuring monthly Q&A’s with mentors about how they broke into journalism, what their day is like, and any advice they have for young journalists. From there, students or anyone else (“mentees”) can email the mentors with any questions or set up informational interviews.

Our fifth Mentor of the Month is Drew Lazor (@drewlazor), a freelance food writer who has a regular column in Philadelphia Daily News and also has contributed to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Food Network, Serious Eats, and Lucky Peach. Ask him anything via andrewlazor@gmail.com.

Q: How long have you been a freelance writer? Did you have a full-time staff gig before you went freelance?

I’ve been working as a freelance writer full-time since June 2012. Before that, I worked at the Philadelphia City Paper for six years, most notably in an Associate Editor role, which involved everything from food/drink/film/music coverage to web/social media duties. Nowadays, I work both locally and nationally. I write a regular column for the Philadelphia Daily News, and also contribute to the Philadelphia Inquirer, philly.com and so on. Nationally, I’m a contributor to outlets like Food Network, Food Republic, Lucky Peach, PUNCH, Serious Eats, etc.

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Mentor of the Month: Stephen Jiwanmall

Instead of a traditional paired mentor-mentee program this year, we are featuring monthly Q&A’s with mentors about how they broke into journalism, what their day is like, and any advice they have for young journalists. From there, students or anyone else (“mentees”) can email the mentors with any questions or set up informational interviews.

Our fourth Mentor of the Month is Stephen Jiwanmall (@SteveJiwanmall), a video reporter for three Calkins Media newspapers in suburban Philadelphia. Ask him anything via stephen.jiwanmall@gmail.com.

Q: What is your current position, and how long have you been working there?

I’m currently a video reporter for three suburban Philadelphia newspapers: the Bucks County Courier Times, The Intelligencer and the Burlington County Times. I started as an associate producer in May 2013. Continue reading

Mentor of the Month: Julie Shaw

Instead of a traditional paired mentor-mentee program this year, we are featuring monthly Q&A’s with mentors about how they broke into journalism, what their day is like, and any advice they have for young journalists. From there, students or anyone else (“mentees”) can email the mentors with any questions or set up informational interviews.

Our third Mentor of the Month is Julie Shaw (@julieshawphilly) of the Philadelphia Daily News. Ask her anything via julie_shaw_ny@hotmail.com.

Q: What is your current position, and how long have you been working there?

I cover the Criminal Justice Center (city criminal court) and the federal court for the Philadelphia Daily News. I have been working at the Daily News since January 2007.

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Mentor of the Month: Alex Lewis

Instead of a traditional paired mentor-mentee program this year, we are featuring monthly Q&A’s with mentors about how they broke into journalism, what their day is like, and any advice they have for young journalists. From there, students or anyone else (“mentees”) can email the mentors with any questions or set up informational interviews.

Our second Mentor of the Month is Alex Lewis (@alexjrlewis), an independent radio producer who has worked on stories for Marketplace, All Things Considered, and NewsWorks. Ask him anything via alexjrlewis@gmail.com.

Q: What is your current position, and how long have you been working there?

I’m an independent radio producer based here in Philadelphia. Currently, I work part-time as a producer at WHYY, produce several podcasts, make freelance public radio stories, and I’m helping to start a youth radio station at a local non-profit. So, depending on how you look at it, you could say I work for myself or that I work for a bunch of different organizations.  I’ve been a full-time freelancer since June 2013. Continue reading