November 20, 2018

Writing Her Future in Journalism

Hannah Jannol, 18
High School: Shalhevet High School
Going to: The New School

Hannah Jannol, 18, has dreams of being a journalist, and she’s certainly gotten off to a good start as editor-in-chief of The Boiling Point, Shalhevet High School’s student newspaper. She also has written for the Jewish Journal and the Santa Monica Daily Press, and has won multiple awards for her writing.

This summer, the Venice native will undertake a paid internship at The Jewish News of Northern California in San Francisco. Jannol met the editor, Sue Fishkoff, at the American Jewish Press Association conference in fall 2017. 

“I was talking to her and she said she’s a fan of The Boiling Point,” Jannol said in a phone interview, “and we discussed maybe me interning there. So I emailed her to follow up and I got accepted.”

Following her internship, Jannol will head to New York this fall to study at The New School’s Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts. 

“I opted for The New School because it’s in New York City and it has a really strong writing curriculum, and it’s a very creative and interdisciplinary space,” she said. “Every time I’m [in New York], I feel such a sense of belonging. I feel like I just need to be there.”

 “I really believe in the power of journalism and it being the fourth estate; that it holds officials accountable and keeps people honest when you ask hard questions.” 

Jannol credits Shalhevet with preparing her to spread her wings. 

“It’s a very loving and supportive community,” she said. “I’ve had close relationships with teachers. I’ve had a lot of mentors, one of them being Mrs. [Joelle] Keene. I’ve learned everything from [Associated Press] style, reporting techniques, just general life skills.”

Jannol also praised Shalhevet’s weekly Town Hall, where the student-body president leads discussion.

“It’s just a really great exercise in critical thinking and listening and conversation,” Jannol said.  “I think I’ll take a lot of the skills [with me] so I can have in-depth conversations and think critically beyond the walls of high school.”

When not working on news articles, Jannol has written one-act plays for the school’s drama department, and she enjoys writing fiction. She also likes volunteering at a nonprofit thrift store in Santa Monica, bike riding, doing anything at the beach and hanging out with friends.

But writing is her passion.

“I definitely think I can impact the world most through writing,” she said. “I really believe in the power of journalism and it being the fourth estate — that it holds officials accountable and keeps people honest when you ask hard questions.”