Best of Jeninne Lee-St. John: Parenting Articles

Jeninne Lee-St. John is a reporter for the trends section of Time Magazine and I was lucky enough to be able to interview her after I have been reading her many awesome parenting articles over the past few years and months.  I have also posted many of these articles for my readers.  Here are some favorites for parents:

Parenting Subcontractors

Daddy Bootcamp

A Frosh New Start

Getting Off the College Waitlist

The Great Uncircumcision Debate

Barred From the Prom

Pregnancy Art

Sunday School for Atheists

Outsourcing Breast Milk

When did you start writing and when did you know that you wanted to be a reporter?

“When I was a kid, I did a lot of creative writing, and my dad was A sports editor at the Washington Post–he was a stickler for writing AP style.” Yet, Lee-St. John didn’t want to write articles, she wanted to write essays and more creative pieces.  After majoring in English in College, she went into advertising.  She found that she was unable to write enough, and spent all of her free time at work reading the papers.  She and her boyfriend at the time (now husband) moved to London for work and she was supposed to be able to transfer and then could not.  This turned out to be a great opportunity for her to apply to Journalism School, which she attended at Northwestern.  Lee-St John described that the program was very hands on and Northwestern’s great relationships got her amazing internships.  She ended up working at Time Magazine in London and then came back to New York.  Now, she loves being at Time because she gets to work on many different kinds of topics.

What is your favorite topic to write about?

“My official beat here is trends, which is a very broad topic. I like to write about the random things that our generation (20 to 40) want to hear about” She says she enjoys calling out what might be only happening with a small population.  “By writing about it, you can bring a topic into the mainstream.  Because of the Internet, the print issue of  Time Magazine cannot really break news very often anymore, but with trends you can still dig up things that are new and different for discovery…I love that people get to discover things or learn something new from our trend searching.”

What advice do you have for our young writers?

Lee-St. John says to “start small, and try lots of different things.”   Young writers working at small town papers can be a great experience and the editors have high standards to learn from, but it is easier to get into the newsroom and have the ability to cover a certain neighborhood or community. “Learning to cover a topic within a neighborhood is a useful skill to apply later.  If you start small and local you will get to meet experienced newsmen and women looking over you, but with less pressure.”  Lee-St John freelanced trend stories for the Berkshire Eagle, which is a small paper in Massachusetts. She was the Washington correspondent for the Quincy Patriot-Ledger, a mid-sized paper near Boston. She said it really helped her try out some nitty gritty localized stories.  It also made her realize she didn’t want to work for a daily newspaper because of the pressure of the daily headline.

You have written articles that really hit home with parents, how do you find such great topics and do you like writing about parenting?

Lee-St John, not a parent herself, says she loves to write about parenting.  She is 31, and in the past few years many of her friends started having kids. She says, “the nature of our conversations shift from dating to babies.  She has now been hearing about very different kinds of topics.  Observing how friends are dealing with their lives is how I get ideas.  I also love to troll blogs and see the raw thoughts people put up.”

Thanks for you articles, your story and your advice Jeninne–we think you rock!

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2 Responses to “Best of Jeninne Lee-St. John: Parenting Articles”

  1. Texas Foster Children Civil and Constitutional rights violations.
    July 12, 2009 at 11:03 pm #

    Actually desired to send question and comments to Jeninne Lee-St. John and may have inadvertantly posted on your site, please excuse if it was a mistake. Kim

  2. Louise Reid Ritchie
    December 17, 2011 at 1:09 am #

    Nice to see the article and to catch up on Jeninne, whom I knew when she was a child.

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