Homepage News Journalism Program News

Field Notes from our 2022 Pulitzer Fellow

By Niamh McAuliffe

This summer, I traveled to Ireland as a Pulitzer Center Fellow to report on the production of biogas in the drinks industry. It was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget—but almost missed.

I had attended the information meetings about this fellowship since my freshman year. I always dreamed that I would apply, but never had the confidence or courage to do so. Then my senior year rolled around – the first in-person semester after the pandemic – and I knew that this would be my last chance. I proposed a story about how breweries and distilleries in Ireland are producing biogas, a renewable energy that takes the waste generated by making beer or alcohol and turns it into a new sustainable energy source. Thankfully, I won the fellowship. I was thrilled and nervous at the same time.

Irish Whiskey Barrels

When I arrived for the first interview, I didn’t use a microphone, so the audio quality was really poor. Despite my mistake, it was a great interview and when it was over I remembered why I chose this career path and promised myself to believe in my skills.

Throughout my reporting across Ireland, I grew to trust my gut. Every time I made a mistake – like missing a bus or not responding to an email – I learned from it, and that is the biggest takeaway from my experience.

My advice to any future Pulitzer Fellows: Trust your instincts. You know more than you think you do. Don’t let intrusive negative thoughts make you forget what you are capable of. And a little bit of Irish luck is always welcome. Lucky for me, I was able to go back and redo that interview.

You can hear more about Niamh’s experience here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/14eOMfyX32MVPA6VfQCn6gZH3HPsg_lXI/view?usp=sharing

And read her Pulitzer Center article here: https://pulitzercenter.org/stories/not-silver-bullet-it-start-irish-drinks-industry-embraces-biogas

Our Journalism Concentration & Minor

The Hunter College journalism program is offered as a concentration or a minor within the Department of Film & Media Studies. Its curriculum is built around production courses in journalism and analytical courses in media studies. Learn more about our course requirements.

Follow us

Our Archives

Journalism Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to the journalism newsletter

* indicates required

Comments are closed.