My name is Jill, and I’m a news junkie

By Jill Van Wyke*

van-wyke-jill-low-resI’ll be one of the fearless leaders of this happy, cohesive and exemplary group.

I teach several classes in Drake’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, including beginning and advanced news writing and reporting, magazine writing, editing, multimedia, and visual communication. In spring, I also oversee the student-produced capstone magazine, Urban Plains, which regularly wins recognition as one of the nation’s best college publications. (That’s due to the students, however, not me.) I also teach in the SJMC online graduate program. My main professional interests are digital and mobile media, political journalism, public affairs journalism, and emerging models for journalism’s future.


I first saw then-Senator Obama in September 2006, at an annual steak fry thrown by Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin.

I’ve been teaching at Drake full-time for 12 years. Before that I taught part-time and as an adjunct. And before that, I worked for 12 years as a reporter and editor for The Des Moines Register, including political editor during the 1988 presidential caucuses and campaign. (Yes, I am that old.)

I’m a news junkie, particularly regarding presidential politics, and have reeled my kids into my habit. In 2006, I asked my then 9-year-old daughter if she wanted to go see then-candidate Sen. Barack Obama. She sighed with exasperation: “I’ve already met him three times!”

I grew up in Denver, Colorado, and still have family there. I have two kids: a daughter who is a senior at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and a son at Yale Law in New Haven, Connecticut. I also have four cats, Larry, Moe, Gizmo and Charlotte. Which is why I’m perpetually covered in cat hair.

I love U2 and Springsteen, Samantha Bee and Peggy Noonan, the New Yorker and the Oatmeal. I loathe sloppy spelling, grammar and punctuation.

On Twitter, I’m @jillvanwyke. On Instagram, I’m @jvanwyke.

*Last name rhymes with “bike.”

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