by Kyle Cotton
Over the years a common sight in a local North Carolina library was the sight of young girl running up and down the stacks grabbing whatever book interested her whenever her mother could take her.
The young girl would often be carrying a stack as high as 21 books back to her mother in 45 minutes just to satiate her never ending curiosity.
This young girl was Hannah Lang, University of North Carolina senior, who thanks to this inquisitiveness — along with personability — has lead her to become part of the 2019 class of the Dow Jones News Fund program.
“I was like literally the kid that had to bring a book everywhere,” Lang said.
Journalism however wasn’t something she was drawn to until she was in college, as she explored humanity fields, Lang said. As she took more classes and consumed news at a higher rate during the 2016 election, she knew being a reporter was something she wanted to do.
She started to seek out the newspaper rack everyday. Everytime she went out studying she would read top headlines from the Washington Post and New York TImes. Getting coffee she would see what was going on in the world. And while watching the Today show she would read general stories that would grab her interest.
It would soon became something she would write instead of read for The Daily Tarheel.
There she quickly found a love of separating fact from fiction while chasing down rumors to find the real story.
One story she is particularly proud of was in November 2018 where she dug deep to find out why seven Resident Advisors were fired with rumors swirling they were selling alcohol to residents.
The rumor turned out to be false as it was rather the result of a get together among both the of-age and underaged RAs involving alcohol consumption with a resident present.
“I just think that’s part of journalism, especially with rumors swirling around,” Lang said.
During her time at UNC she would also get an internship with The Charlotte Observer and would gain confidence that journalism is what she was suppose to do.
During her internship Lang wondered weather or not she belonged and during a Q&A between her Editor and the interns she asked, “What does it take to be a journalist?”
Her Editor said she already had those traits that make a doggett and successful reporter.
Lang will Intern for The Triangle Business Journal this summer through the program after a little bit of prodding from her former professor Chris Roush telling her “not to be an idiot” and pass up on the program.
Roush said Lang is unique as she is a very personable, which is a trait that he finds is lacking in many reporters.
“It’s not that her writing that makes her stand out, all her writing is very good to me, it’s her personality,” he said. “She’s just somebody that gets along with everyone and somebody that everyone likes and wants to work with and wants to talk to.”