Former MSU Editor-In-Chief Gabe Hewitt Finds Success in a Changing Industry
After receiving his associate’s degree from Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Gabe Hewitt had his sights set on attending a four-year institution where he could continue his passion for journalism. He instantly became drawn to the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus for its diverse organization opportunities and close community-like environment. At Minnesota State, Hewitt would pursue Mass Media and go on to become Editor in Chief of the campus newspaper and President of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Minnesota State’s campus newspaper ‘The Reporter’ has been a part of the University since 1926. The completely student-run newspaper has provided a unique look into the history of the University and Mankato community, while continuing to give students a voice on campus where they can inform, celebrate, and share their experiences. News, events and reviews allow students, staff, alumni and the community to keep connected to Minnesota State. The digitization of the paper has made The Reporter accessible to Minnesotans all across the State.
Gabe Hewitt was proud and grateful when he was chosen for the opportunity to become Editor in Chief for a paper that had such a rich history. This position included managing the editors and writers to generate content, look over all stories and make design adjustments, accurately represent the diverse culture of the University in the material, and speak before the student senate to advocate for the newspaper. Hewitt was also one of the first Mass Media majors to be chosen for the position and from that background was able to hold writers to a high standard of quality, professionalism, and reputable stories and sources.
Hewitt’s hope is that a first-year student walking around campus would pick up the latest issue and be able to read stories that represent their culture, issues, ideas, and connect them with various events around campus. “The Reporter is a platform for involvement and a place to give students a voice, who may not feel that they normally have one on perspectives and opinions about things happening on campus”, says Hewitt. His goal is that The Reporter continues to encompass community values and allow students, staff, and alumni to create connections and resources with one another to foster success.
During his time at Minnesota State Hewitt was also elected chapter president of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). Here he organized and created workshops on journalism topics and invited speakers from all over the state to talk about what is happening in the media. Hewitt’s passion for SPJ led him to the idea of connecting individuals from both organizations to share and connect about media and journalism together, even attending media tours of the Star Tribune and NPR news.
Although Hewitt finished his position as Editor in Chief in May after graduating, he hopes that he has planted the seeds to keep the campus paper more accessible to the campus community, especially in a digital moving world. After bolstering the social media pages and starting the framework for a podcast series, Hewitt believes that more individuals will be able to read, share, and listen to the content in ways never imagined 90 years ago at the start. Though the paper is already in a digital format, Hewitt still sees the value in picking up a paper copy and reading it over coffee or with a group of friends.
A campus paper that is open platform and completely student-run are becoming rare, but Hewitt believes that his opportunity as Editor in Chief at MSU has prepared him for future success. Hewitt says, “Minnesota State has given me the tools to thrive in a changing industry. Media is a type of profession where to be successful you need a portfolio of projects and works, something that speaks to your strengths and interests. MSU and these groups have helped me build this portfolio to take with me after graduation and future employees will appreciate the opportunities I have been able to take and be a part of.”