Fetters (BSJ09,MSJ09) is a freelance writer for the following organizations: US News, Women's Health, Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Runner's World, Cleveland Clinic and Details.
“Basically, that means I wear exercise clothes to the office (which is the room directly off of my kitchen), chat with researchers, comb through studies, test health products, pitch stories, and squeeze in workouts between what I hope is catchy copy,” she says.
The majority of Fetter's writing is geared toward service-based consumer publications and she writes for both national print magazines and their online components, blending her BSJ in magazine journalism with her MSJ in new media. Fetters also writes articles as well as website content for custom publishing companies, businesses, and experts.
Fetters says that Medill gave her a solid foundation to ask the right questions and know-how to put answers into the right words. She said Medill also taught her the art of perfectionism allowing her to hone her skills, voice, and confidence into a trademark all her own.
“At Medill, journalism is considered an art and a craft, but the school recognizes that it is also a business,” Fetters says. “Now, more than ever, my bottom line as a business is dictated by my ability to meet and surpass my editors’ deadlines and expectations. On the job, I’ve often been told the trademark of a Medill graduate is the ability to quickly and effectively churn out great copy. That’s a great trademark to have. In today’s journalism culture, where writers are competing with tweets and texts to break stories, our intuition and news savvy is what will define our personal success as well as the success of the media industry as a whole.”
Fetters remembers a trip to visit barbershops on the South Side of Chicago for a story she was working on while at Medill.
“The AIDS Foundation of Chicago was working to reach at-risk groups right where they were—even in the barber chair." Educators from the foundation visited salons and barbershops regularly to talk to customers about HIV, risk, prevention, and testing, even offering free immediate-result testing in the back room by the shampooing stations. To observe the initiative in action and best cover the story, she said, they rented a car and drove through typical Chicago winter weather to several salons and barbershops on the South Side and in Calumet City.
"We had been afraid the customers wouldn’t want to talk to us and we’d end up with lackluster—or worse, no—quotes, but the shop customers couldn’t have been more excited to chat with us and tell us their stories,” Fetters recalls. "They ordered pizza for an impromptu celebration of our attendance (we must have looked hungry from our day of reporting!) and we were able to tell a story about an initiative that was offering HIV prevention and testing services to more than 5,000 at-risk Chicago-area residents each year.”