Mercer journalism major strives to tell stories that make people feel heard

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young woman is pictured on the mercer campus
Eliza Moore. Photo by Marin Guta

Eliza Moore grew up with a passion for writing. At Mercer University, she discovered journalism as her future career. 

“I’m a very empathetic person, and so my heart has always been in a place where I want to listen to people, and I just care deeply that people feel heard,” said Moore, a senior double-majoring in journalism and English. “I think storytelling can be really powerful and that it bridges gaps and barriers.  

“Especially in our age of polarization, I think storytelling is more important than ever, and I think sometimes it can be a bit of a lost art to listen to each other and just share community in that way. And I think that journalism is particularly powerful.” 

Moore is a Stamps Scholar, placing her among the highest achieving students at Mercer. As a journalism major, she has participated in “every communications-based internship or opportunity I could think of.” 

That included working as an intern at Macon Magazine and Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB). She was awarded a Couric Fellowship for her 2023 summer internship at GPB, and she continued to work there as a practicum student that fall. 

“That was definitely my most impactful internship,” she said of her work at GPB. “I got to produce a wide range of stories to become radio features as well. I was getting to pitch and research and produce everything from start to finish. So, I really got a chance to do the type of stories that I was interested in, and I think that freedom was really valuable. 

“And I was able to publish these stories to a state audience, and they were often republished by a variety of other publications. Just to have that audience and readership available to me as a student was really cool.” 

Among her stories was one detailing patients’ struggles to legally access medical cannabis in Georgia. 

“I did report on medical cannabis in Georgia because I know that’s a new industry that’s come to Georgia, and a lot of people are really unsure about it,” she said. “I think when there’s a lot of questions, that’s a great place to start your reporting.” 

Moore talked to patients seeking access to medical cannabis, dispensaries and doctors. Fear and stigma made for challenging interviews on all sides. Moore said she had to be assertive and ask hard questions. 

“I was proud of that story when it came out because it definitely pushed me outside my comfort zone, and I think it was important for people to know about,” she said. 

At Mercer, Moore has been news editor of The Cluster student newspaper for the last two years. In that role, she listens to story pitches from reporters, assigns stories and edits them. She has covered the opening of an exhibit about Mercer’s integration and wrote a story about a research project detailing Mercer’s queer history

In summer 2022, she participated in a Mercer On Mission program in Capetown, South Africa. As part of the marketing team assisting the nonprofit Streetscapes, she designed a website and graphics and helped with writing. 

Moore currently is applying for jobs at a variety of news outlets and organizations.  

“People deserve to be represented and to have their stories heard, especially in local government and holding people accountable,” she said. “I think that local journalism is really important and shouldn’t be lost as we move forward.” 

 

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