After internships with major regional newspapers, TU senior Caitlyn Freeman turns passion into purpose, helping others
Growing up, Towson University senior Caitlyn Freeman wanted a career where she could help people. Thoughts of being a teacher, doctor or lawyer crossed her mind, but something was missing.
As a junior, Freeman joined the newspaper staff at Arundel Senior High School, covering local school board meetings. From that moment on, she knew journalism was the career path she wanted to follow.
“I think my purpose is helping people through informing them,” Freeman says. “I want to bring their stories to light. Journalism also gave me a chance to write, which was a passion of mine, along with finding a way to help people.”
Freeman chose TU's mass communications program in the College of Fine Arts and Communication because it gave her a chance to build close relationships with faculty who have worked in journalism.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better group of professors,” Freeman says. “I have been able to build one-on-one relationships and have the kind of mentorship where, if I went to a bigger school, I wouldn’t have had that type of connection.
“Right before starting my first internship, I remember being in Dr. [John] Kirch’s news writing class, and I remember going to an office hours appointment. I asked him if I was ready to be in a professional newsroom,” she adds. “And he was like, ‘I think you’re great, and this is a great opportunity that’s going to teach you a lot.’ He really gave me the push I needed.”
The following summer, she worked as a news intern at the Richmond Times Dispatch in Virginia. It was the first time she had lived outside of Maryland, but she jumped at the chance to work at the largest newspaper in the state.
Freeman worked in the newsroom every day, and by the end of the summer, she had more than 25 bylines and plenty of newspapers to bring home. Most importantly, the internship solidified that journalism was her calling.
“Working at the Richmond Times Dispatch really taught me what it means to be a professional reporter,” Freeman says.
The following summer, Freeman landed another internship, this time at the biggest newspaper in Maryland—The Baltimore Sun. Reflecting on this accomplishment, Freeman couldn’t help but recall a time when she proclaimed to her high school advisor that she would one day work at The Sun, even though at the time it seemed unattainable. Last summer, that dream became a reality.
“It was a surreal moment because I met this goal,” she says. “I remember the first day I drove up to Sun Park, and I was just kind of in awe. This was the biggest paper in my home state, and it was surreal I got to work there.”
With two significant internships under her belt, Freeman knew her senior year had to be special. When offered the chance to serve as the editor-in-chief of The Towerlight, Towson University’s independent, student-run newspaper, she felt it would be a perfect finale to her TU career.
She had written for The Towerlight during her early years at TU but walked away for other opportunities and health reasons. Now the senior leads the paper and is excited to help her staff and the campus stay informed.
“I’m really grateful for [this opportunity],” she says. “I hope I can help my staff learn what I know. I’ve gotten so much from my internships and my time at TU, so I want to give back to the Towerlight in a way that helps the reporters and the publication grow.”
The Towerlight is a student-run news organization located at Towson University. It operates on campus and exclusively employs TU students and alumni but is independent of the university.
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