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Letter from the President

The President talks about ‘Take Our Daughters to Work’ Day at EW

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Forget all that sugar and spice stuff. The 29 prospective journalists, ages 9 through 15, who descended on EW’s offices for the sixth annual Take Our Daughters to Work Day on April 23 proved they could be every bit as aggressive as their adult counterparts when it comes to asking tough questions. ”Some of those girls were like little investigative reporters,” laughs Saturday Night Live‘s Molly Shannon, who consented to be grilled by the junior press corps (who know her primarily as Mary Katherine Gallagher, the Catholic-school super-geek she portrays on SNL).

The neophyte newsmongers, divided by age into four groups, went at the task of interviewing Shannon with impressive creativity and fortitude — after all, they had a deadline to meet: By day’s end, each group would have to produce a six-page magazine about the comedian and their day as EW-istas. Their job turned out to be as much fun as it was work, thanks largely to their willing and entertaining subject. ”The girls fell in love with Molly,” says special projects editor Alison Gwinn, who helped coordinate the day’s activities. ”She was lively and funny and really tried hard to answer their questions, even when they asked her embarrassing things like how much money she made or if she dyed her hair or what her first kiss was like.”

Guided through the creation of their miniature publications by EW staffers, the fresh-faced newshounds learned such critical facets of magazine production as headline writing and photo selection. (They were also given brief rundowns on the publishing and online sides of the magazine.) ”They had very definite thoughts about what they did and didn’t want to include in their story,” says associate editor Dulcy Israel, who oversaw the writing and editing of one group’s Shannon feature.

Indeed, more than one young lady seemed to know exactly what she wanted out of entertainment journalism by the time the project was completed. Asked if she wanted to be a reporter when she grew up, Torie Hajdu, 11, considered her options, then replied, ”Well, maybe an editor.”

You go, girl.

JOHN SQUIRES PRESIDENT

JAMES W. SEYMORE JR. MANAGING EDITOR