Looking back at his time at the Washington Media Institute, Owen Meech can honestly say he’s better for it. He’s more adventurous and vocal about human rights, but he wasn’t always that way.
As a double major in Political Science and Journalism at Quinnipiac University, Owen knew Washington, D.C. would be the perfect fit to continue his undergraduate studies. But, he didn’t know the extent of the in-depth and hands-on experiences he would receive as a student at WMI.
“I went from covering stories on campus to covering stories of life and death in our nation’s capital,” Owen said. “Sitting in court every day reporting on homicide cases was eye-opening to say the least.”
As an editorial intern at D.C. Witness, Owen reported on homicide cases in the District of Columbia Superior Court.
During his internship, Owen had the opportunity to cover the murder trial of a man accused of fatally shooting a 21-year-old man. Owen said he felt the gravity of his role in the courtroom when the man’s mother approached him one day during the trial. They spoke about her son and he shared that he too was 21 years old and couldn’t imagine what she was going through.
“The exchange cemented with me the mentality of remaining unbiased in my reporting, but also remembering that humans are affected by everything I am writing about. And I have a responsibility to both accuracy and other people,” Owen said.
During the day Owen was in court, but three nights a week he was in class forging relationships and speaking with professionals in the field.
“With a small group of 12 students, our instructors were able to form personal relationships with us and cater learning to our specific needs. I enjoyed the format of conference table discussions and being able to work with my peers on various projects,” Owen explained.
Since he’s left WMI, Owen has been conducting research on pre-trial detention and potential constitutional violations caused by coercive plea bargaining and understaffed courts.
“Whether the future includes law or some sort of legal or political journalism,” Owen said. “ I know I want to do something meaningful and I feel that I’m on the right track to figure out what exactly that might be.”