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College Fix event celebrates launching media careers, serving as ‘counterforce’ against ‘war on truth’

Veteran newsman John Solomon touts alternative media as winning ‘counterforce’ to today’s ‘war on truth’

“Your most powerful weapons are facts … and your most important mission is truth.”

That was the advice veteran newsman John Solomon gave a room full of young journalists during The College Fix’s annual dinner in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

“If you stick to the truth, don’t worry about the prevailing narrative, don’t worry about what people are saying at the book parties in Washington D.C., or the think tanks,” said Solomon, editor-in-chief of Just The News whose award-winning journalism career spans four decades.

“Stick to the truth, stick to the facts, you can prevail. … You can make a difference, the American people are hungry for truth.”

Solomon served as the keynote speaker at the dinner, hosted at the Heritage Foundation, where about 100 budding reporters and others converged to network and enjoy camaraderie with peers and mentors.

The gathering featured a mix of veteran news editors, student reporters for The College Fix, its 2024 summer journalism fellows, alumni of the organization, and supporters and donors of the Student Free Press Association, the nonprofit that publishes The College Fix and funds its internships at various beltway news outlets.

“As a virtual operation, we’re a lean, mean, fighting machine — but once a year we come together in person to celebrate our important mission of finding ambitious undergrads interested in journalism, nurturing that talent, then launching their media careers,” said Jennifer Kabbany, editor of The College Fix.

(Pictured from left: John Miller, executive director; Jennifer Kabbany, editor in chief; Matt Lamb, associate editor; Dave Huber, associate editor; Micaiah Bilger, assistant editor).

Roughly 80 percent of The College Fix’s journalism fellows over the last decade-plus have remained in journalism or a related field, such as book publishing and speech writing.

At the event, this year’s crop of summer journalism fellows were feted onstage. They are (from left to right):

Audrey Baker of Kenyon College: Washington Examiner (news)
Rafa Oliveira of King’s College: New York Sun
Cole Murphy of Georgia Tech: The Dispatch
Brandy Perez of University of Alabama: Daily Caller
Benjamin Rothove of UW Madison: Washington Examiner (commentary)
Tanner Nau of Rhodes College: Washington Free Beacon

Solomon, in his speech, said The College Fix, Just The News, and similar news outlets represent a solution amid the “war on truth” underway in the nation.

“There’s two ways to deal with the moment we’re in right now. The left prefers censorship,” Solomon said. “Every time in American history when we have faced a great internal crisis, there are two forces that have always worked: more speech, not less speech. … The other is competition, the free market.”

“What you have created here with all these extraordinary people in this room, what I am trying to do with Just The News … what so many of you are trying to do today, is use the free market competition that we are still blessed to have in this country to begin to create the counterforces,” he said.

“Censorship can’t succeed if someone is able to get around it — and that’s what you’re doing everyday.”

Described as a training ground and talent pipeline for aspiring conservative journalists, The College Fix reports stories that lead to higher education reform.

Its editors also mentor talented, principled young journalists and help launch their media careers.

The 14-year-old organization boasts some 130 fellowship alumni, many of whom were in the audience Thursday. In sum, the organization has worked with nearly 550 student journalists in its lifetime.

Today they work at The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Reason, The Hill, Washington Free Beacon, Just the News, National Review, The Dispatch, Washington Examiner, Washington Times, Yahoo News, National Catholic Register, Daily Caller, USA Today and Sinclair Broadcast Group, among many other news outlets across the nation.

To learn more about The College Fix, click here.

IMAGES: Brendan Miller / For The College Fix

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