“I always knew I wanted to be a journalist, ever since I was 15 years old. … I never went into [economics] with the intention of how it was going to differentiate me, but I was seeking another major that ideally makes one equipped to cover something interesting, and this was the field I found I most enjoyed,” said recent Colorado State University graduate, Erin Douglas (’18).
Douglas was well aware that her passions lay with the art of journalism and reporting, but she wanted more to attach to her belt.
With a love of math and data, Douglas began taking prerequisite classes in the field of economics, quickly realizing it was the field she wanted to pair with her journalism interest.
“I found you get a broader picture of the world and you get to explore any topic and apply it to economics,” said Douglas. “I think it’s one of those things for me that, as a journalist, ended up differentiating me from the rest.”
When Douglas was a senior, she was editor-in-chief of the Rocky Mountain Collegian University newspaper, eventually landing an internship at the Denver Post, covering stories on the shifting state economy and local politics.
After graduating in May of 2018 and with the experience of the Denver Post under her belt, Douglas traveled across the country to New York, accepting a three-month internship reporting on oil markets at Bloomberg News. Because of her degree in economics, she was able to understand the quantitative logistics and business lingo that the industry dealt with on a daily basis.
“Since I report on markets, just having the basics in economics is hugely helpful,” said Douglas. “If you don’t know the terminology it’s hard to keep up. It just helped me see stories further down than I would be able to otherwise, and it gives me a lot of insight on what questions to ask.”
After the internship at Bloomberg, Douglas temporarily worked for an investigative nonprofit organization, ProPublica, during the 2018 midterm election season covering the access to vote. She credits ProPublica for doing some of the best work in journalism today, saying it was one of the most exciting projects she’s worked on to date. Once midterms ended, Douglas went back to applying to full-time positions at major city newspapers across the country, eventually accepting an offer at The Houston Chronicle in December.
“Students that differentiate themselves are better off and are able to break into some of those bigger newsrooms,” said Douglas. “…after going through the process with several places, I was hired full-time at the Houston Chronicle and I think a lot of the reason was for my background in economics.”
Since Douglas reports on various markets, policy, and business in Texas, having this economic background is extremely helpful. “The intersection of people who can put worldly issues in a context from a liberal arts perspective, while also introducing data and analysis is a good sweet spot to be in,” said Douglas.
“I am very grateful for the support the professors in economics, as well as JMC, provided to me while I was being probably one of the most infuriating students they had,” said Douglas. “I was always busy, but they really let me set my own path for the future career I wanted, and I am so grateful for that.”
The Department of Economics and Journalism and Media Communication is in the College of Liberal Arts.