Communications student hopes to make difference through impactful journalism

Jack Allsopp, ’21
Jack Allsopp (Communications, ’21) has found his passion for journalism.

“The crux of being a writer is the realization that you never really know what the impact of your writing will be,” said Jack Allsopp (Communications, ’21). “You publish your articles out into the world and hope they have the impact you intended.”

Since starting his studies at the University of New England, Allsopp has made the most of the opportunities to put his writing into the world, and he has built an impressive portfolio of work. Through his experience as editor of UNE’s online newspaper, The Bolt, and as a contributor to Moorish Tides, an online magazine featuring student experiences traveling abroad at UNE’s Morocco Campus, Allsopp has discovered his passion for journalism.

Originally from Basking Ridge, New Jersey, Allsopp knew he wanted to attend college in Maine.

“I had visited Maine every summer since I was eight years old and had always loved it here,” he said. “When I discovered UNE, I felt the size of the school would be perfect for me because I knew I didn’t want to attend a large state school. I was also attracted to UNE’s Global Education program. The fall of my freshman year, I applied to spend a semester abroad in Morocco, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

Allsopp spent the fall 2018 semester in Morocco, an experience that provided him with several opportunities to find his footing as a journalist and discover the type of writing he wanted to craft. He described one of his articles from that time, “Abdul’s American Love Story,” about a shopkeeper in the Medina of Tangier, as the “crown jewel” of his writing to date.

“This is my favorite article of mine, not only because of the resulting story but because of the whole experience behind its creation,” Allsopp said. “I felt I had to know more about [Abdul], so I sat down with him to listen to his life story. I spent time crafting his story, and, afterward, I knew that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

Allsopp also tackled one of his hardest assignments while in Morocco: “The Homeless Children of Tangier.”

As a summer camp counselor back in the U.S., he had a lot of experience working with children, mostly from privileged backgrounds. But, in Tangier, Allsopp encountered children sleeping on the streets in cardboard boxes and under trees. He knew he wanted to use his writing as a tool to raise awareness about their situation, but he also knew this would require him to walk a fine line.

He didn’t want to exploit these children, he said, and he was also forced to take a hard look at his own privilege.

“It’s extremely difficult to talk to a young, homeless child and then walk away,” he remarked. “My own emotional response seemed like a consequence of wanting to write an article about their situation.”

But, for Allsopp, the hard work is paying off.

He was awarded the Maine Press Association's 2021 scholarship, a highly competitive and prestigious award from the state's journalism association. He also landed an internship with the Portland Press Herald, part of the state’s largest news-gathering organization, where he is currently working on an article about the safety of eating out in restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Allsopp said both the scholarship and internship have affirmed that he is on the right path.

“What I love about journalism is that it provides me with opportunities to investigate a vast array of topics,” he commented. “I get to consult with experts in the field or carry out one-on-one interviews and then report back my findings. My hope in doing so is to create some impact on those who read my words.”

Read Allsopp’s work in Moorish Tides:

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