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Journalism student thrives in overseas news industry

Throughout his Northeastern experience, fifth-year student Anthony Savvides has challenged himself to seek opportunities outside his comfort zone. After serving as a news correspondent for the student-run Huntington News, for example, the journalism major pursued a co-op with The Boston Globe’s Living Arts desk to experience the inner workings of a major daily newspaper. On two Dialogue of Civilizations programs in Jordan and Turkey that focused on international reporting, he immersed himself in Middle East life and culture.

For his latest endeavor and final co-op, he again dived into an unknown environment, working in Italy as a reporter at TuttOggi.info—a hyperlocal online newspaper that covers the country’s Umbria region.

“I enjoy being out of my comfort zone because it pushes me to my limits and allows me to see how much I can do and what I’m capable of,” Savvides said.

Savvides, whose experiential learning opportunity was supported by a Presidential Global Scholarship, said his job included collaborating with field reporters to write and translate news articles for the website’s recently launched English-language news section. Over the course of the co-op, Savvides wrote articles on topics ranging from breaking news to arts and cultural events. To prepare for the job, he took two months of intensive Italian language classes at the University for Foreigners, the country’s premier language institute in Perugia.

Though he entered Northeastern as a biology major, Savvides quickly switched to journalism after realizing his longtime passion for writing and interest in the news industry. It’s easy to see why he made the change. Savvides keeps stacks of old newspapers at his family’s home in Valley Stream, N.Y., and describes reading Billboard magazine and Entertainment Weekly as a kid to keep connected to the hottest songs and entertainment-industry trends.

Savvides also pointed to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 as a major turning point in his career interests. He devoured hordes of information from the magazine, newspaper, and television coverage that followed, at a time when many online outlets had yet to establish themselves as leading news sources.

Savvides is enrolled this semester in a beat-reporting journalism course in which he will write for the Globe’s Your Town sections. He said he has great respect for international reporting, and noted that he was initially skeptical of hyperlocal reporting. But his co-ops at the Globe and for TuttOggi.info have increased his appreciation and appetite for that form of journalism.

“Hyperlocal reporting is incredibly rewarding. It’s a great way to get to know an area very intimately,” he said. “I’m surprised the trend hasn’t caught on sooner. It’s the future of the industry.”

Savvides said that he would like to pursue a career in arts and culture reporting but would remain open to a potentially different journalism career track—both in the U.S. and abroad. “I really enjoy being a student,” he said, “and I think journalism will always allow me to continue being a student—a student of the world.”