Deborah Honore slipped into a group of farmers and placed a tripod and a video camera among them. She shot several scenes before moving to a second location and then a third in Devarajupalle, Andra Pradesh, India.
She seemed invisible as she assisted “PBS NewsHour” special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro and videographer Rakesh Nagar on their assignment to learn more about how farmers have adapted to post-drought conditions.
Her professionalism was reminiscent of a veteran journalist, but Honore is 21, a St. Thomas senior.
“Every story has been amazing for me,” said Honore, who graduated in May with degrees in communication and journalism and justice and peace studies. “I don’t want to work on something unless I care about it. There is something to learn out of every story.”
Working alongside two seasoned pros halfway around the world “was a wonderful opportunity,” she said.
During the trip to India, Honore produced a video profile of Nagar. Honore’s travel, and that of Simeon Lancaster ’17, a 2017-18 intern for the Under-Told Stories Project, was supported by a Minnesota Journalists Abroad scholarship from the Communication and Journalism Department at St. Thomas.
She is no stranger to foreign countries: She was born in 1996 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and her family fled the conflict there, entered the United States as refugees and settled in the Twin Cities area.
She became aware of St. Thomas and its ThreeSixty Journalism program for high school students as a junior at Bloomington Kennedy High School. She accepted a full-tuition ThreeSixty Scholarship here, crediting her experience during the youth journalism program and the opportunities to tell stories in video as the keys to her decision.
“I love storytelling and have a huge passion for video documentaries – anything on PBS or National Geographic,” she said, and she found others who shared her interest. “I was attracted to this kind of work. It sparked a fire.”
She worked with St. Thomas videographer Brad Jacobsen for four years and was a video reporter for TommieMedia in spring 2017 after spending fall semester in Morocco and a J-Term in South Africa. She also returned to Ethiopia for J-Term as a sophomore.