Sabra Ayres (MSJ01) has spent more than 12 years covering U.S. politics, international relations and developing democracies. Her career has adapted to the changing media landscape to include managing the startup of a local news website; shooting and editing online video for breaking news; designing university journalism curricula; using social media to broaden audience reach; and developing reporting strategies for large-scale projects.
Sabra credits her post-Medill experience for helping her move thousands of miles from one new project and destination to another. "Since graduation, Medill's alumni networking has been key,” she says. “It's helped me land freelance gigs and employment opportunities."
Those opportunities sent her to Miami, Moscow, and Juneau, Alaska, to report; to Jackson, Wyoming, to work as a web editor and developer; to India and Afghanistan to teach journalism; and also to Afghanistan to work in information management. Sabra is currently in Kiev, Ukraine filing breaking news stories, features and analysis on Ukraine’s Euromaidan protests. Sabra credits Medill for knowledge she was able to bring to every step of her journey.
"The Chicago newsroom is what made my experience at Medill—filing on deadline for the suburban Chicago papers under the guidance of the instructors was as real life as it gets in graduate school,“ she says. ”In my opinion, this is what separated Medill's program from other journalism programs."
Sabra has also spent time as a freelance writer for newspapers around the world, and she’s been a radio and TV guest for CBC News and NPR.
While hard news has been the focus of her career, Sabra also had a chance to focus on the lighter side of life, writing for Fodor’s Travel Publications: she was a contributing author to the Fodor’s 2011 and 2013 editions of its Moscow and St. Petersburg guidebooks.
Follow Sabra Ayres on Twitter: @babraham