By Sarah Martinson
Breana Noble is a tough reporter who gets her stories by being amicable and kind.
Noble, 21, is a senior at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich. and editor-in-chief of its weekly student newspaper, The Collegian. Noble will be interning at TheStreet, a financial news website, this summer through the Dow Jones News Fund business reporting internship program. It is the third summer internship she has had since her freshman year at Hillsdale. While Noble has experience writing feature enterprise stories, financial news will be a first for her.
Maria Servold, assistant director of Hillsdale College’s journalism program, said what makes Noble a good reporter is that she has a “nose for news.” Servold has been working with her since Noble’s freshman year. Out of all other students, Servold said, Noble comes up with the most story ideas. Noble was awarded by her college newspaper three times for having the highest word count of the semester.
“By reading her bylines and seeing how much she writes, you might think she is some mean, tough reporter who always gets the story,” Servold said. “She’s not really like that at all. She is really kind and approachable.”
Noble was born in Dearborn, Mich., about 30 minutes from Canton, Mich., where she has lived her whole life. Her journalism career started her senior year at Canton High School that sits on 305-acres with two other schools, Salem High School and Plymouth High School. The three schools together are known as the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park with over 6,000 students.
Up until that point, Noble had aspired to be a middle school math teacher. Her senior year she was going to enroll in a class where she could be a student assistant to one of the high school’s math teacher. That year the class was cancelled and Noble had to enroll into a different class. She enrolled in an advanced journalism class that consisted of her working on the high school’s monthly newspaper, The Perspective. Working on the school’s newspaper, she fell in love journalism.
“Two months into the school year, I knew that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Noble said.
Before Noble graduated Canton High School, she had been planning to attend Hillsdale College for its math education program. With her new love of journalism, she still wanted to go to Hillsdale and the college didn’t have a journalism program. Would-be journalists at Hillsdale are encouraged to choose a major that will inform their reporting and get their reporting experience by working on the college’s student newspaper.
“There are some things that we can learn in the classroom, but really you learn journalism by doing it,” Noble said about the college’s methodology. Noble decided to pursue a bachelor of arts degree majoring in politics with a minor in journalism.
She started working at The Collegian, “Michigan’s oldest college newspaper,” according to the publication’s website, her freshman year as a freelance reporter and has been working her way up the ranks ever since.
Servold said some Noble’s best pieces have been historical investigative stories about the college. Noble wrote a story about the “father of the American roller coaster” attending Hillsdale college for a semester and another story about discovering the unknown death date of a football left guard inducted into Hillsdale’s athletic Hall of Fame.
Noble was recommended to apply for the DJNF business reporting program by a colleague at The Collegian and DJNF intern alumni, Kate Patrick. She had discovered the program her freshman year of college and didn’t apply because she didn’t think she had enough reporting experience. After interning on the business desk at The Detroit News last summer, Noble wanted to continue pursuing business reporting and thought the DJNF program would be a great way to do that.
The DJNF program kicks off Sun., May 21 with a one-week business reporting boot camp at New York University where Noble and other selected applicants will learn the ins and outs of business reporting from reporters and editors at The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, The New York Times and other well-known publications.