DAY NEWSROOM: REPORTERS
Martha Shanahan covers health and the environment for The Day.
Martha joined the newsroom in 2015 and covered Montville and Waterford for about 18 months.
A Washington, D.C., native, Martha graduated with a degree in international relations from Tufts University in 2013. Her years of reporting and editing at The Tufts Daily — and feeling like she spent more time editing than studying — helped steer Martha toward a journalism career.
“I figured I might as well listen to myself,” she said.
After college, Martha took a summer internship with National Public Radio in D.C. before covering multiple towns in Massachusetts for Gatehouse Media.
From 2014 to 2015, she worked the city beat for The Keene Sentinel in Keene, New Hampshire, covering “local politics, features, and all the weird stuff that happens in a small town.”
She also covered the many candidates who visited New Hampshire during the run-up to the 2016 presidential primaries.
Martha said taking jobs in local news — versus starting out in the lower rungs of a major network — turned out to be a smart move.
“I got a lot more experience actually meeting the people I was covering, getting to know them and being a part of a community,” she said. “I was given a lot more responsibility and flexibility to figure it all out on my own, and learn the basics of being a reporter and a human being, than I would have at a large organization or in national news.”
Whether medical marijuana, health care or the region’s vulnerabilities in the wake of climate change, Martha wants to cover her beat “as much as possible from the people who are living whatever issue it is from day to day.”
Martha also helps drive readers to The Day through Facebook and Instagram.
“I’m more excited than worried about the transition of news going online,” she said. “I think there’s so many more opportunities and room for weird, experimental, new and exciting things to happen.”
Now living in New London, Martha says she enjoyed discovering that southeastern Connecticut was “so diverse and such a wide variety of economies, cultures and people. Even in just Montville and Waterford, or just between neighborhoods, you can be in a different world.”
Presenting “the full picture” to readers, sources and experts alike is Martha's favorite part of the job.
“People know their own corners of the world really well, whether they’re a patient with a certain disease, or a scientist who’s an expert on an animal, or someone having an experience with a government agency as a citizen,” she said. “If there’s something going wrong, or a trend, or a larger story there, they might see it … but I like being able to connect the dots for people and show them, and others, ‘Here’s what the whole puzzle looks like.’”
By Martha Shanahan