She spent years honing her craft at UO and a variety of publications across the U.S. All of it contributed to her landing a dream job at Le Monde, the most trusted newspaper in France.
Song on repeat: Newest albums by Beabadoobee, Maggie Rogers and Julia Jacklin
Coffee or tea: “I’m in a very coffee-heavy country, but I’m a big fan of both.”
Guilty pleasure: “I’m in Paris, so it’s a struggle to not eat a pastry every day.”
Favorite memory at the CHC: “I remember that after Casey Schoop’s classes, a couple of my friends and I would always continue the conversation in his office. Yeah, we’d talk about the book we were reading but also just about life. It was just the sort of thing that I feel makes the CHC so special and that doesn’t happen elsewhere.”
Five years after channeling her passion for culture and language through journalism, Hannah Steinkopf-Frank – a 2017 Clark Honors College graduate – now spends her time following the biggest news stories around the world.
She works for France’s largest newspaper, Le Monde, as a journalist and editor. She was hired to produce the paper’s first-ever English-language website along with a group of others. The broader goal of the website project lies in the newspaper’s dedication to growing its audience.
“I feel like no day in journalism looks the same,” says Steinkopf-Frank, a multi-media journalist who studied international affairs and journalism at the University of Oregon.
Apart from keeping up with the news and maintaining the website, Steinkopf-Frank’s main responsibility lies in making Le Monde’s content more accessible. Every day, her group focuses on translating 30 to 40 news stories from French to English. One of the most engaging parts is the fact that she gets to work with a team of people from across the globe – including Scotland, Australia, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
It’s clear that her love for playing with language is an art. “I’ve really developed a passion for translation,” she says. “It’s interesting thinking through what the best way to convey similar ideas across languages is.”
Throughout her career, Steinkopf-Frank’s work has appeared in major publications such as the New York Times, JSTOR Daily, Vice, Teen Vogue, the Grammys and Wired UK. But her love of journalism started in a Portland, Ore., high school where she wrote news stories.
She then followed her passion to the UO and the Honors College, working on Ethos magazine, Align and the Daily Emerald.
“I was nervous, going to a big state school, about maybe feeling a bit lost or overwhelmed,” she recalls. “I really feel like the CHC was a guiding force that allowed me to feel like I always had a home.”
The journalist plunged herself into the academic world behind the walls of Chapman Hall where her curiosity only grew. Her penchant for travel, born from childhood trips with her parents, became more intense. So she packed her bags when it came time to do research on her senior thesis about the social movement known as La Sape, which focuses on well-dressed men, Sapeurs, who used fashion as a lens to explore identity starting in the 1980s.
She learned about the gap in recent research on La Sape in one of her French classes at UO. She focused on researching Sapeurs in both France and Belgium, as they have the largest diasporas of people from two countries in Central Africa. Her thesis won the Barbara Corrado Pope Award and a University of Oregon Undergraduate Library Research Award.
“It wasn’t only the financial support from the CHC that was big, but also the encouragement to do a topic that was pretty ambitious,” Steinkopf-Frank says. “Looking back and thinking: ‘Wow, I did that as an undergraduate’ still feels surprising to me.”
After graduation, she went to Chicago where she wrote and photographed stories for the Chicago Tribune as an editorial intern for six months. Shortly after, she made the move to Paris to complete a joint master's degree in journalism and international affairs at the Paris Institute of Political Science, known as Sciences Po.
Her next step was to get hired at Le Monde, where she loves her work. She’s built up a number of hobbies, including playing the guitar, sewing and blog writing.
She has some direct advice for students who are considering a career in journalism – a place that has changed dramatically in the last five years.
“You will fail and you should learn from that, and not let that fear hold you back,” she says. “While it’s good to be modest and to know your strengths and weakness, it’s such a fluctuating industry and it’s been that way for quite a while, that there's not one right way to do things.
“Your creativity, gumption, confidence and your willingness to put yourself out there is just as important in helping you succeed as well as the skills that you garner in the field.”
—Story by Keyry Hernandez, Clark Honors College Communications
—Photos courtesy of Hannah Steinkopf-Frank