Juliet Davidson ’23 is spending her summer as a reporter for The Hudson Independent, a newspaper that covers the Westchester, N.Y., “Rivertowns” of Irvington, Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Scarborough-on-Hudson, Ardsley-on-Hudson, and Dobbs Ferry.
Her position involves writing on a variety of assigned and self-chosen topics. So far, she’s been working with another reporter on a story about local businesses and their experiences with COVID-19 restrictions — “masking in stores, distancing, employee retention rates, if their regulars are starting to return … how their methods of operation have shifted post-CDC leniency,” Davidson said.
She said they’ve been collecting this information in-person, speaking with Rivertown business owners about “the kind of policies they’ve set out and their outlook for the future, whether that’s more positive or there’s lower morale.” From there, Davidson said the plan is to broaden the scope of the story by creating an online survey for businesses to fill out. Analyzing this data will allow them to identify trends, which will be highlighted in the article alongside individual quotes.
Hometown: New York, N.Y.
High School: Marymount School of New York
Though the COVID article has taken up the bulk of Davidson’s time at the paper so far, she hopes to shift into stories that focus more on the return of normalcy to the towns covered by the Independent. “They’re starting to open up a lot more of the arts venues,” she said. “As someone who’s interested in the arts, that’s really appealing to me. I’m curious to see how they’ve made the transition from their more virtual performances to reopening arts programs.”
Another area of interest for Davidson is the development taking place along the river, including — among other things — new condominiums in many of the towns. “There’s always been concern about traffic and congestion,” she said. “They just built the new Mario Cuomo Bridge and took down the Tappan Zee. There’s a lot of change happening, development-wise, in the area.”
Davidson learned about the position with the Independent through one of the paper’s editors, Barry Seaman ’67. In need of a summer intern, he reached out to Hamilton’s Career Center, who in turn emailed Davidson about the opening. By meeting up with the editor and touring the towns covered by the paper, Davidson said she was provided “a lot of good context for what kind of stories I’d be writing and the community I would be reporting on.”
Before this job, Davidson gained experience as an editorial intern for Bookstr, a position she described as “covering news where literature and culture intersect.” There she wrote on prison literacy, the school-to-prison pipeline, and other social justice topics. On campus, she is involved with several student publications, including The Duel Observer, The Wattage, and Culture Magazine. For these, Davidson said she does more of the “administrative work” — a contrast to her more active role at The Hudson Independent. “I’m excited that I get to focus on writing and reporting in the field,” she said.