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Cassidy McDonald

Class of 2017-2018

About Cassidy

(updated 6/2018) During her Luce year in China, Cassidy worked under the direction of Professor Zhuang Yongzhi, chair of the Department of Broadcasting, Film and Television at Nanjing University’s  School of Journalism and Communication, which began as the Film and Broadcasting Special Program in 1936, the first of its kind in China.  Cassidy’s placement was divided into two parts.  During the fall, living in Nanjing, she worked with Professor Zhuang on freelance reporting,  and became a contributor to The Nanjinger magazine, writing a five-part series about a group of foreigners who saved Chinese lives during the 1937 Nanjing Massacre.   She appeared on Nanjing’s evening news to discuss her reporting and her work was profiled in the Yangtze Evening Post, China Daily and other Chinese news outlets.  In December, she moved to Beijing, where she worked for Tencent Video, China’s leading online streaming platform, and freelanced for domestic and international news outlets. Cassidy graduated in May 2017 from the University of Notre Dame with a business degree in marketing and a minor in Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy. Ultimately, she plans to work as a reporter, telling the stories of marginalized voices as they interact with powerful policies and systems. In fall 2016, she traveled alongside columnist Nicholas Kristof to report on American poverty for the  New York Times ; she wrote about alternatives to incarceration, drug problems in Native American communities, and a billionaire who is quietly donating his fortune to Oklahoma’s social programs. At a summer internship with CBS News in New York City, she worked in the shooter-producer unit and spent many of her days “in the field,” booking interviews, shooting video, and solving last-minute problems. At an earlier internship with the 60 Minutes in Washington D.C., she researched a variety of topics including Russian military capabilities, gun death statistics, and Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. She was its first intern to travel out of town for two shoots, coordinating interviews at FBI Headquarters and in Chicago, and independently producing a shoot in West Virginia. She began her career in Madison, Wisconsin as an intern at the local NBC affiliate, WMTV NBC15, and at Wisconsin’s second-largest newspaper, the  Wisconsin State Journal . At the  State Journal , she reported on gang violence, higher education, and city government, and wrote seven page-A1 articles in her first month on the job. At Notre Dame, she is editor-in-chief of the student newsmagazine,  Scholastic , and manages a team of 24 (in addition to about 30 regular contributors) to produce a monthly glossy magazine. Recent issues have focused on the school’s sexual assault disciplinary procedures, campus-wide reactions to Donald Trump’s victory, and homelessness near campus. She also worked for Notre Dame’s sports broadcasting division, Fighting Irish Media, where she co-hosted an online, sports-highlight show and produced live softball broadcasts. She anchors during Notre Dame’s 24-hour webcast, “Notre Dame Day,” and is emcee of the school’s “Advisory Council” dinners, hosting dinner events for about 250 of the school’s top decision-makers. She first discovered her passion for journalism at age 17, when she got a job making videos at her local police department. This semester, she’ll raise money to fund a Liberian primary school class by (slowly) training for her first marathon. (She’s trying to convince her donors to contribute per minute, rather than per mile.)

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