Senior Gets Head Start on Journalism Career Reporting on Politics at Ohio Statehouse

Posted Apr 19, 2024

By Maggie Nicol ’25

Gaining confidence, asking questions, and writing about difficult topics — these are all skills that senior Lilly Peter ’24 has learned while interning for Hannah News Service at the Ohio Statehouse.

Lilly Peter
Lilly Peter ’24

As an intern, Peter gets hands-on experiences and works as if she is another writer in the office. “I started out slow, I went with a journalist and watched them take notes and ask questions to the politicians, and then after the third week I started getting my own assignments and going to these events by myself. I write the article and then I get to see it published on The Hannah Report,” she said.

“I feel like I get to be a part of history by being in the middle of the legislation. Everyone must meet their deadlines to produce the daily reports, so it’s fast-paced. Everyone is so knowledgeable and willing to help,” Peter added.

Alumni like Andrew Tobias, chief political reporter at and The Plain Dealer, still leave their mark as they mentor students. Tobias worked with Peter’s Journalism Capstone class, where he showed students how to tighten their writing and which resources to use when reporting.

Peter started interning for the Statehouse in January 2024. She learned about this opportunity from Professor Hillary Warren and was then able to get connected to Judith Bird, the editor of Hannah News Service.

No day is the same for Peter; some days she is working in committee session or covering press conferences, and others she interviews department directors. “A couple days ago I met Governor Mike DeWine,” she said.

Working in this setting has allowed Peter to gain confidence in her writing abilities. Journalists who work for Hannah News Service have given her thoughtful edits on ways that she can improve her writing. “It’s always a great feeling when there aren’t many edits for my stories,” Peter said.

“I’ve gotten to meet so many other political journalists while working in the Statehouse, and they’ve shown me how to approach a press gaggle and how to take efficient notes,” she said.

After graduation, Peter wants to work in broadcast journalism and then write for a magazine or news site. Writing is her passion, and she could even see herself becoming a freelance writer.

Peter has one final piece of advice for anyone she meets these days.

“If you haven’t gotten to go into the Ohio Statehouse, then I recommend checking it out,” she said, noting the beauty of the historical building in downtown Columbus.