The Trust Project
Jeremy Herb ’08 is a CNN national security reporter, covering the Russia investigations and Congress. He was formerly with Politico, The Hill, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
What did your time as a The Santa Clara journalist teach you about the importance of trust and transparency in journalism?
My first editor at The Santa Clara, who is also now a journalist in Washington, drilled into his staff the importance of getting the small details right — correctly spelled names, numbers, dates — because if you mess those up, how will readers trust you with the big stuff? That was true when we were reporting at Santa Clara about discrimination at parties or a university investigation into a cheerleading coach, just as it’s true today when I’m writing about legislation worth billions of dollars or investigations into Russian election meddling. A journalist’s best defense against charges of bias is to be as accurate, fair and thorough as possible, and that’s an important lesson I first learned at TSC.
Did your experience on The Santa Clara inform your future career choice?
I wouldn’t be a journalist today without the amazing experience I had working at The Santa Clara. It’s safe to say the most fun I’ve had in journalism was running the weekly paper my two years as TSC editor. You could see the impact of your stories firsthand when students, faculty, and administrators picked up the paper every Thursday. More importantly, I learned the thrill of being the first to tell people something they didn’t know and racing to cover breaking news during a big story. I was hooked my first quarter on the paper when a student suddenly collapsed and died the afternoon before we went to print—I immediately left class (it was a journalism class at least!) and went to work to learn everything I could about the student and what had happened. It’s still hard to beat a career where I’m tasked every day with learning something new and interesting and then telling people about it—and there’s plenty new and interesting in Washington.