My Interview With Journalist Shirley Henderson

     I had come across Mrs. Henderson’s card on accident. While sifting through one of my free Columbia Chronicle bags that I’d picked up during one of Columbia’s Open Houses, it lay at the very bottom. I remember meeting Ms. Henderson at Columbia that day at Open House, she was at the Columbia College Association of Black Journalist table. I had introduced myself, and upon learning that she worked for Ebony Magazine, I quickly asked for her card. Just in case.

Flash forward to just couple weeks ago. Neither one of the journalists I had intended to cover for my journalist project had contacted me back. I was at a loss with only two weeks to go and I had to get started soon. That’s when I found her card. I read up a little on her, and took note that she was doing everything that I wanted for my future. She was a person to look up to. Successful, smart, and a fantastic journalist. I emailed her immediately, and to my luck she emailed me back. The date was set.

It was time for research. I sat down with my laptop and pen and paper, and immediately found background information on Ms. Henderson on Google, the Google Search Course I’d taken weeks earlier had come in handy. I also used Columbia’s resources, more specifically the library online database. Through several attempts and search refinement I found the archives of Ebony Magazine and all articles written by Shirley Henderson.

After a reschedule, the interview date was approaching. I wrote out every question that came to mind, then got rid of almost half of them. I put my questions in order by topic and importance and found my angle; Henderson’s career and the importance and impact of African American publications and journalists. 

The interview was at 10:30 a.m., a time that was best for her, at 200 South Michigan Ave, Ebony’s Chicago Headquarters. I would get there early and look professional, yet stylish. Arriving fifteen minutes early, I had time for Starbucks, and a quick run-through of my questions. It was important that I carried myself confidently and looked and felt prepared.

When I finally met Shirley Henderson, I felt at ease. We made small talk about my walk there, and phones, and magazines. Then when I felt we had built an easy rapport, I asked her if it was alright if I recorded our interview. After her permission, we began. I remained engaged while taking quick notes of important quotes and spellings. Ms. Henderson stayed on topic and gave great quotes and information, even complimenting me on some of my questions. When the interview ended, she gave me a quick tour, and suggested I apply for an internship.

The sign of a successful interview. When I arrived at home I listened to our interview, taking notes of the things I could have done differently, and the things that I couldn’t have done better myself. I also organized my angle into a format that would work best for my story. The interviewing process as a whole was a wonderful experience, and I can’t wait to do it all over again, an perhaps one day get paid for it.


Chicago Media: Past, Present, Future


Chicago Tribune

  • Covers stories ranging from daily news, sports, business, arts and entertainment, etc. all in the Chicago area.
  • The audience of the Chicago Tribune are, of course, Chicagoans. Reaching over 414,930 people daily, and over 781,324 people on Sundays.
  • The anticipated demographic for the Chicago Tribune are people between 18-49, mature adults, surburban moms, and young trendsetters. The Tribune has recently begun leaning towards bringing in younger readers. (
  • Broadsheet newspaper layout, also available online.
  • Free of cost

Chicago Sun-Times

  • Covers stories ranging from daily news, sports, entertainment, politics, voices, and classifieds.
  • An audience of Chicagoans, and a demographic of adults ages 18-39
  • Distribution of 470,548 daily and 406, 094 on Sundays.
  • Free of cost
  • Tabloid Newspaper layout, also available online

Daily Herald

  • Stories: News, Sports, Business, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Communities
  • Audience: Suburban Chicagoans
  • Demographic: Arlington Heights Residents, Suburban Chicagoans
  • Cost: Free
  • Distribution: 96,073 daily, 103,867 Sundays
  • Layout: Newspaper (Broadsheet), Online Newspaper



  • Stories: Local News, National/World News, Health, Politics, Investigation, Entertainment, Strange, Consumer, Sports
  • Cost: Free
  • Audience: Chicagoans
  • Demographic: Chicagoans
  • Distribution: 4:30 to 7:00 am, 11:00 am, 4:00 pm, 5:00 pm, 6:00 pmand 10:00 pm Monday thru Friday
  • Layout: Television News, available online


  • Stories: Local News, Weather, Investigations, Entertainment, Sports, Traffic, Video
  • Cost: Free
  • Audience: Chicagoans
  • Demographic: Chicagoans
  • Distribution: 4:30 to 7:00 am, 11:00 am, 4:30 pm, 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm
    and 10:00 pm Monday thru Friday
  • Layout: Televison News, available online


  • Stories: Local News, Investigative, Politics, Business, Consumer, Entertainment, Health, National/World, photos
  • Audience: Chicagoans
  • Demographics: Chicagoans, adults 18-49
  • Distribution: 4:30-7:00 am, 11:00-11:30, 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm, 10:00 pm Monday thru Friday
  • Layout: Television News, available online
  • Videos: News, Sports, Talent, Traffic



  • Stories: News, Culture, Criminal Justice, Education, Economy, Labor, Music, Politics, Science, Transportation, SPorts
  • Audience: Chicagoans
  • Demographics: Chicagoan adults ages 18-49
  • Distributiion: Hourly segments run from 12:00 am to 11:00 pm
  • Layout: News Radio
  • Cost Free


  • Stories: Popular Music, Popular Topics, Music Scene
  • Audience: Music Listeners
  • Demographic: Young Chicago
  • Layout: Music Radio
  • Cost: Free


  • Stories: Chicago News
  • Audience: Adult Chicagoans
  • Demographic: Adults
  • Layout: News Radio
  • Cost: Free




  • Stories: Talk, News Radio, Sports, Chicago
  • Audience: Chicagoans
  • Demographic: Chicagoans
  • Layout: News Radio
  • Cost: Free


Modern Luxury

  • Stories: High End Retail, Dining, Design Trends, Chicagos Top People
  • Audience: College Educated Homeowners earning over six figures
  • Demographic: Affluent Chicago Readers
  • Distribution: 75,000
  • Layout: Magazine
  • Types of Images: High Fashion, Luxury
  • Cost: 20$ yearly

Chicago Magazine

What types of stories do they cover? Food, art, fashion, and urban life in the city of Chicago

Who is their audience? Mostly female, mostly married, with 6 figure household incomes living in Chicago

What do you think their demographic is? Upper middle class Chicago residents

What is their distribution? 150,000

Layout? Magazine

Types of images/video? Relevant food, fashion, products, images of Chicago

Cost/Distribution? $12 per yearly subscription



What types of stories do they cover? Stories relevant to the African American community –artists, achievements, products and services, crucial issues

Who is their audience? African American females aged 18-54

What do you think their demographic is? African American female millennials

What is their distribution? 1,228,553

Layout? Magazine

Types of images/video? – Fashion, products, relevant to articles

Cost/Distribution? $24 per yearly subscription


The Onion

What types of stories do they cover? Political and social satire

Who is their audience? Mostly male, mostly college educated individuals

What do you think their demographic is? Young, social, college educated individuals

What is their distribution? 11 million visitors per month

Layout? Online website

Types of images/video? Satirical cartoons, videos, r

Cost/Distribution? Free


Chicagoist Anything related to the city of Chicago

  • Audience: Chicagoans ages 25-34, mostly college graduates


  • Demographic: Chicagoans


  • Distribution: 1.4 million pages per month


  • Layout: Blog
  • Types of images/video: Anything related to Chicago
  • Cost: Free