The Write Stuff
Chris Bousquet ’16 is entering the world of journalism this summer as an editorial intern for DC Inno, the Washington, D.C. branch of Streetwise Media. Streetwise Media was co-founded by Hamilton alumni Chase Garbarino ’07 and Kevin McCarthy ’07, and since its inception has expanded to own and operate digital news branches in Boston, D.C., Chicago and Austin. Bousquet’s internship at DC Inno is funded through Hamilton’s Joseph F. Anderson ’44 Internship Fund.
As an editorial intern, Bousquet has a role similar to that of a staff writer, developing, pitching and writing stories about D.C. technology, business and local and federal policy. His most recent work regarded the recent OPM breach, focusing on the particular cybersecurity measures the agency could have employed to predict and prevent the attack. In the course of constructing and editing the piece, Bousquet’s research was necessarily far reaching, encompassing interviews with the CEOs of two D.C.-based data analytics startups, as well as a number of cybersecurity experts.
He is currently working on a story that examines the manner in which a strategy called “crowdsourcing” has influenced D.C.-area enterprises and federal agencies. Crowdsourcing is a process by which an organization can solicit funding, ideas or other contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community. This process can create open forums where participants can propose and possibly vote on ideas, thereby democratizing the innovation process.
Bousquet said that the internship was initially appealing due to his deeply-held love of writing, and the desire to explore that passion in a more professional capacity. “I’ve thought about pursuing journalism for a long time and DC Inno seemed like a good place to test how I like working in the editorial world,” he explained. “The subjects I’ve written about, on the other hand, are a bit of a departure from what I’m used to. At DC Inno, I’ve written a lot about technology and business, topics I had essentially no experience writing about before I got to here.”
That opportunity to explore new fields through the lens of journalism has been invaluable, said Bousquet. “Over the past couple months, I’ve learned a lot about these fields and become really interested in them, and I now actually find myself looking at tech sites and business journals in my free time.” He expressed satisfaction not only with the knowledge that he has gained, but also with the amount of exposure his work was able to receive through the experience. During his time with DC Inno Bousquet has had more than 50 articles published on broad-ranging topics, including a number of personally selected and lengthy research-intensive pieces.
Bousquet claims that he has learned valuable lessons pertaining to the nature of writing, and has gained insights into his potential career aspirations. “One thing I’ve realized is that I’d be happy writing about almost anything,” he said. “Though my main interest lies in politics, I’ve come to acknowledge that there’s cool stuff to cover in almost any field, and I enjoy the challenge of developing interesting stories, no matter the subject.” That challenge, however, is very real, as he elaborated, saying “I think one of the most eye-opening things I’ve learned is how difficult it is to put together a story. There’s no magic database where reporters go for quotes, but they get their resources through brute force outreach—calls and emails to tons of offices every day.”
Even with the challenges, Bousquet claims that he has not lost any of his enthusiasm for writing, and anticipates some element of journalism in his future professional endeavors. “I do know that I want writing to be involved in whatever I do,” he said, “and I could see myself working in journalism out of college and even further into the future.”