A Dual BA Perspective: Campus Journalism

Dual BA students share their experiences working with student newspapers at Sciences Po and at Columbia University.

March 01, 2019

When asked why he left his position as President of Columbia University to become President of the United States, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced that “Columbia was too political for me.” Both Columbia and Sciences Po are known to be incredibly politically engaged university campuses. One way that Dual BA students have decided to act on their civic duties is by taking on journalism.

Abby Edwards, a second year Dual BA student on the Reims campus, was introduced to the power of journalism while reading former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power’s book “A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide.” Set on tackling the subject of mass atrocities, but unsure about how to do so, Abby decided to join The Sundial Press, the campus student newspaper. Established in 2011 when the Reims campus was founded, The Sundial originally began as a group project. Today, The Sundial has grown with the campus and now comprises over 70 students.

As a member of the Foreign Affairs team of The Sundial, Abby could attempt to answer all the questions that permeated her mind, while interacting with other students who were looking for the same answers. As a writer, and later an editor, Abby was pushed to write about subjects that weren’t getting coverage, instead of echoing the news cycle.

“I don’t see myself going into journalism full-time, but there is a value to learning how to break down complex issues into something digestible, especially when academia continues to laud incomprehensibility."

As a part of The Sundial team during his two years in Reims, Jimmy Quinn, now a junior at Columbia, got to cover the 2017 French Presidential Election. This allowed him and his team to travel across France writing about campaign events. As editor in chief the following year, Jimmy tried to make the paper an indispensable fixture of campus life. He introduced opinion columns that dealt not only with global events and politics, but also with campus events and debates. Jimmy’s favorite thing about being a part of The Sundial however, was the ability to collaborate with a close-knit group of diverse Sciences Po students.

“From fond memories with friends, to exciting projects, and fascinating stories, there was never a dull moment at The Sundial Press.”

When he arrived on Columbia’s Morningside campus, Jimmy sought a similar experience. This led him to join the Columbia Daily Spectator, the second oldest college daily newspaper in the country. Attending weekly meetings helped Jimmy meet new friends on campus, as they debated key campus issues with the other writers and editors— “contentious, intellectually-stimulating, and rewarding discussions that served as the basis of our articles."

Learn more about the Dual BA Program and ways to get involved at gs.columbia.edu/sciences-po and follow along on Facebook.