Journalism alumnus Ben Hohenstatt ’14 named to Editor and Publisher’s 25 under 35 class

Published: February 22, 2022

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Auburn University College of Liberal Arts alumnus Ben Hohenstatt has been recognized by Editor & Publisher for innovation and performance in the news publishing industry.

Founded in 1884, Editor & Publisher is one of the top trade publications in the journalism industry. Its “25 under 35” class recognizes outstanding young professionals in news leadership.

Hohenstatt, who graduated from the School of Communication and Journalism at Auburn University in 2014, currently serves as managing editor of the Juneau Empire. In this role, Hohenstatt oversees the newspaper’s editorial content, manages the newsroom, helps produce news content and photography, assists with social media, and applies for grants and funding opportunities for the paper.

“I was surprised and flattered to be named to the list. Kind of a canned response, but it’s true. I do the work because I believe in the work,” Hohenstatt said. “In the job, you hear a ton more about what you do that people aren’t happy with than what they are happy with, but I’ve been pretty fortunate to work in communities with people, especially working adjacent to arts, who are thankful that someone is giving them the time, attention, consideration and attempting to understand what they do. Still, it’s nice to get that kudos.”

Three months after graduating from Auburn, Hohenstatt began working as a reporter for the Newberry Observer in South Carolina, then transferred to the Winnsboro Herald Independent, where he was the sole content producer for the paper. After moving back to his home state of Illinois, he covered the community of Peru for the La Salle NewsTribune. In August 2018, Hohenstatt was hired by the Capital City Weekly, the arts and culture section of the Juneau Empire.

Hohenstatt was drawn to Juneau for its vibrant arts community, temperate rainforest environment and desire to do something different. After working as the arts and culture reporter for a couple of years, he was promoted to managing editor in early 2020.

While at Auburn, Hohenstatt worked for the Auburn Plainsman. His advice to current journalism students includes getting involved with the Plainsman and to write about everything–both what interests you and what doesn’t–to build your portfolio.

“You’re always learning on the job and now is the best time to start,” Hohenstatt said. “Auburn has tremendous professors. It was very much here’s what you need to be equipped with to be a functional reporter and to be an asset in just about any newsroom. I’d like to think that in my several stops that I’ve proved that to be true. I certainly feel like I got the foundation I needed to have a career in media communications as long or short as I wanted at Auburn. If you are willing to write and learn and respond well to feedback, start today.”

Submitted by: Charlotte Tuggle