Immersed in Inquiry

With a fair and even-handed approach to news, Michael Bodley ’16 is gaining experience and creating change at some of the nation’s top newspapers.

Michael Bodley ’16 entered Elon with a drive to get the most out of his college experience. He certainly did.

Energy applied in and out of the classroom led him to earn bylines reporting for The Baltimore Sun, Carnegie-Knight News21, The Washington Post, USA Today and NBC News. The payoff was his selection for a post-grad internship at The Boston Globe and the honor of an elite Hearst Journalism Fellowship.

After working this summer at the Globe, Bodley entered a two-year post-graduate reporting program with Hearst that includes rotations at two top metro newspapers. Only four student journalists across the country were selected for this year’s Hearst program.

Bodley entered Elon as a Communications Fellow and immediately began working to excel as a writer and editor. He rose through the ranks to become editor-in-chief of The Pendulum, Elon’s student newspaper. The paper was awarded the 2015 Associated Collegiate Press Online Pacemaker Award under his leadership. He also won a national first-place Breaking News Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and his work has placed nationally in Hearst reporting competitions.

In reflecting on Bodley’s work at The Pendulum, Colin Donohue, coordinator of student media, recalled the wide range of stories he wrote and his drive to create campus change. “Michael thinks critically, analyzes deeply and inquires intently,” Donohue said. “Michael is fair and even-handed, but he’s not afraid to ask difficult questions and pursue challenging stories.”

Bodley’s excellence in journalism course assignments and in his work for The Pendulum opened the door to a summer internship covering business news for The Baltimore Sun the summer after his sophomore year. Next came Elon’s decision to fund his bid to participate in the Carnegie-Knight News21 Initiative, a summer investigative reporting program hosted at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. There he earned more bylines than any other reporter. Bodley’s work was published by the Washington Post and NBC News.

As a senior, Bodley was invited to join a documentary journalism team organized by Elon’s Imagining the Internet Center, traveling to Brazil to interview scores of world technology experts at the 2015 Internet Governance Forum, which is organized by the United Nations. He followed that as one of two Elon University journalists funded to do a special reporting project in Ireland during Winter Term 2016 under the auspices of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. He also worked as a collegiate correspondent for USA Today.

In recognition of his outstanding work, Bodley was selected by the School of Communications faculty to receive the Outstanding Senior in Journalism award for 2015-16.