Jamie Gentner spent her four years at Biola dedicated to The Chimes. She hopped into the features editor position as a freshman and worked her way up to editor-in-chief by senior year.
Right before graduation in 2007, Jamie was hired as a reporter for the Siskiyou Daily News in Yreka, Calif., thanks largely in part to a tip from fellow Biola alumnus Heather Dodds (2006). As is the case with most small newspapers, Jamie's job included deadline writing, photo-shoots, copy editing and page-layout. After an eight-month stint at the Siskiyou Daily, Jamie returned to her hometown to work for the Mohave Valley Daily News as a page designer, though the smaller size of the newspaper once again meant she picked up copy editing and reporting duties, as well.
When was asked to join Greenspun Media Group's family of weekly newspapers, The Home News, in the Las Vegas area, Jamie couldn't pass up the opportunity. She took the job as page designer with the group that owns the Las Vegas Sun and part of the Chicago Tribune. Jamie saw it as an opportunity to move up. But the economy finally caught up to the media group and The Home News went under, leaving behind a wake of unemployed personnel, including Jamie.
Unable to find a journalism job, Jamie worked for about eight months at an insurance company and for a homeowner's association. But when her former boss at the Siskiyou Daily needed some stories for a magazine in a hurry, he called Jamie and asked her to come back to the area and do a week of freelance work. During that visit, she was asked to come back to the paper and was soon working full time as a reporter. She covers police, courts, fire, education, business and general assignments in addition to providing coverage for a monthly publication in a neighboring town.
Jamie has witnessed the struggles of newspapers first hand and has reported on the failure of several others, but her passion for the industry still burns brightly. Her plans are to stay at smaller newspapers because of the wide variety of topics she is able to cover and the wonderful people she fuses relationships with.
Jamie is an alumnus of the World Journalism Institute’s media operations connected with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Urbana event. She was selected in 2010 to be part of the Institute's alumni conference at the Ethics and Policy Center in Washington, D.C. The conference will feature renowned journalists with whom Jamie was excited to network.
Jamie's advice to Biola journalism students: Don't take for granted the classes that require exploring another branch of the media (like having to take a radio class when your emphasis is in print). With today's professional climate, you never know when knowing how to work in more than one media branch will pay off. Check out Jamie’s latest work at: www.siskiyoudaily.com.