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The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

Renowned Reporter Chats with Newsroom

Costas Christ, Editor-at-large for National Geographic, spoke to the newsroom today about the importance of journalism.
David Cutler
Renowned columnist Chris Costas chats with journalism students.

“If you are a good writer, you will be in demand,” said Costas Christ, the renowned Editor-at-large for National Geographic and a contributor to The New York Times, during a Zoom chat with the student newsroom earlier today.

Christ, known for his impactful “Tales from the Frontier” column, has been a significant voice in highlighting vital environmental and cultural issues.

Throughout the conversation, Christ discussed the importance of passion and skill in writing.

Addressing a question from Editor-in-Chief Amelia Bowman ’26 about the balance between specialized and general assignment writers, Christ said, “There is no absolutely right or wrong answer.” He recounted his experience with the New York Times in Africa, working with a generalist writer, to emphasize the need for both specialized knowledge and adaptable writing skills in journalism.

Christ also shared his disciplined writing process, involving a structured weekly schedule: Week 1 for reconfirming and identifying the topic, Week 2 for delving into the topic, and Week 3 for intensive writing. This approach, complemented by editor feedback and revisions, has been his consistent method for over a decade.

Highlighting a significant incident from his work, Christ talked about a situation in Tanzania where the government announced a Chinese-funded railroad project through the Serengeti National Park, threatening the last major wildlife migration. His reporting on this issue led to global protests and the rerouting of the project, illustrating the profound impact of journalism on public opinion and policy.

In his 2011 award-winning article, Last Stand in the Serengeti, Christ wrote, “Despite an outcry from conservation groups and scientists worldwide, the Tanzanian government plans to build a commercial highway that will link the dusty safari capital of Arusha in the east to the lush shores of Lake Victoria in the west—cutting across the Serengeti.”

Concluding his talk, Christ emphasized the importance of honing writing skills and developing expertise in areas of interest.

“We desperately need you,” Christ told the newsroom. “We need your voice, from your generation. Journalism is under assault right now, especially small publications. We cannot let that happen. You are in a profession that is noble. You are in a profession that sometimes has consequences.”

Adviser David Cutler also asked Christ for advice on how to help young writers flourish in journalism.

“You are in a wonderful position to encourage pursuing this profession, and to give your [students] the confidence to know that they will break through,” Christ said.

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David Cutler, Adviser
Mr. Cutler is a 2002 graduate of Brimmer and May. He also teaches American History, Latin American History, Government, and Popular Culture in American History. Outside of teaching and writing, he enjoys superheroes, comic books, and spending time with friends and family.

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