Extremely sad news for the mediabistro.com family: Julia Campbell, a newspaper reporter and former newspaper writing instructor for mediabistro.com, was found dead in the Philippines. She was a member of the Peace Corps and had gone missing. According to the Associated Press, Campbell “was found buried with one foot protruding from the ground near the village of Batad. It was not clear whether she had been buried by someone or if she was covered by debris during a fall.”
Here’s her instructor’s bio:
In her 14 years as a journalist, Julia Campbell has written for newspapers large and small, magazines and major Internet news sites. Her first newspaper job was at a weekly in Virginia, and, after writing about a defiant old woman fighting a highway that was to be built right through her property, Julia was hooked. She went on to work as a reporter for several newspapers, eventually landing a full-time freelance position at the New York Times. While at the Times, Julia worked on a team investigating police corruption and covered the New York Police Department. Her work at the Times led her to a correspondent’s job at People magazine, covering high-profile crime stories, including the Los Angeles murder of Bill Cosby‘s son, Ennis. A former senior editor at CourtTV.com and producer at ABCNews.com, Julia is now a senior editor at Star magazine.
Taffy Brodesser-Akner, mediabistro.com’s director of community development, remembers Campbell:
When Julia told me she was leaving teaching to go to Peace Corps, I was disappointed. The Peace Corps’ gain was certainly our loss. Julia brought a real ray of sunshine into the office when she came to teach; her smile was infectious. It never made sense to me that the young woman who sat before me with a sing-song voice and the most positive attitude I’d ever seen in a newspaper reporter was the same person who investigated grisly crimes for publications as diverse as the New York Times and People magazine. Julia authored the curriculum for what became a very popular course nationwide: “Basic Training: Introduction to Newspapers.” What stood out most to me were her off-the-wall, but very effective assignments geared toward teaching students how to get information out of someone. Over the course of one week, all 11 students in that class called me up to chat and to tell me how much they liked the class. I was thrilled to hear it. Only later did I realize that they were each on a mission to find out anything they possibly could about me for an assignment what year I graduated from college, when I lost my virginity, which of my sisters I preferred. I thought it was one of the most creative assignments imaginable. The world will miss this altruistic, creative, smiley, spark of a woman. I know we will.
mediabistro’s education department plans to offer a scholarship in Campbell’s name to current or former Peace Corps volunteers interested in pursuing writing careers via our program. Complete information: learn DOT info AT mediabistro DOT com.