Journalism 207: Start Your Media Career Here

Journalism 207, a series of online Zoom training sessions for high school students, is an initiative involving journalists from the Portland Press Herald, Morning Sentinel, Kennebec Journal and Sun Journal who provide expert advice and experience to students wishing to pursue a career in journalism.

Our first session on Monday, April 11 at 2:45 p.m. will cover how to find a good story, hosted by Vanessa Paolella of the Sun Journal and Eric Russell of the Portland Press Herald. The session will be moderated by Katherine Lee, Web Editor of the Press Herald. Each reporter will talk about their own reporting experiences, and we’ll end with a Q&A for students.

Feel free to submit questions in advance.


Vanessa Paolella is an editor at the Sun Journal and mainly covers local education. Before joining the Sun Journal in 2021, she completed two internships for the newspaper and ran Bates College’s student newspaper, The Bates Student. Vanessa graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Bates College in 2021 and wrote her senior thesis on water quality changes in the Androscoggin River from 1930 to 2019.


Eric Russell has been a reporter for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram since 2012 and a journalist in Maine for 13 years. His favorite missions are ones where he can leave the office and meet people in their homes or workplaces to talk about their struggles and challenges – and sometimes their triumphs. Eric grew up in southern Maine, went to college at the University of Maine, and worked in Bangor for eight years before joining the Press Herald. He lives in Brunswick with his wife, a teacher, and two daughters.


Katherine Lee was web editor for the Press Herald and the Maine Sunday Telegram for five years, and was previously city editor for five years. She worked at the Tampa Bay Times and the Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News, where she led the newsroom for a Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News in 2012. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned his BA and MJ degrees. She and her husband live in South Portland.

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