Heather Somerville

Technology Reporter, Thomson Reuters
Heather Somerville

Heather Somerville (MSJ10) is a technology reporter covering disruptive startups and the venture capital industry for Reuters news service in San Francisco. Previously a staff writer for the San Jose Mercury News and the Fresno Bee, she has worked for daily and weekly newspapers and online news sites across the country, covering national security, politics, education, the environment and immigration.

At The Fresno Bee, Somerville covered news about all types of education from California state universities to local school districts in the central valley. Although shorter daily news was part of her job, Somerville pursued investigative pieces, as well, an interest she developed at Medill. One story examined the experience of Afghanistan veterans going back to school after finishing their service.

Somerville worked as a general assignment reporter for community newspapers before coming to Medill, where she did investigative reporting for the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative. She says she had never covered education before starting her job in Fresno, but she was able to learn the beat quickly.

Somerville says she wants to continue pursuing investigative journalism opportunities throughout her career.

“I put a lot of focus on investigative journalism when I was at Medill where I think others tended to focus on web development and interactive elements,” Somerville says. “I was always afraid I missed out on something, but I’ve found myself in a place where investigative journalism is highly valued. There’s a lot of room to grow those skills, I think it should be reassuring to other journalists that there’s a high premium on investigative work.”


I put a lot of focus on investigative journalism when I was at Medill where I think others tended to focus on web development and interactive elements. I was always afraid I missed out on something, but I’ve found myself in a place where investigative journalism is highly valued. There’s a lot of room to grow those skills, I think it should be reassuring to other journalists that there’s a high premium on investigative work.