Reader’s Digest Editor Speaks to Journalism Students at NHS
On March 26, 2023, Jody Rohlena, an executive editor at Reader’s Digest, spoke to NHS’s journalism class and any other students interested about her career in journalism.
Reader’s Digest is an American family magazine published ten times a year with over 70 million readers worldwide. It is also available online where stories, jokes, advice, and more are featured. Rohlena currently decides what stories to put in the magazine that will grab the most attention of their readers. One of her goals is to try to make Reader’s Digest appeal to a younger audience. She discussed what goes into deciding which stories to put into the magazine, cover design, and more.
Rohlena told the group about her childhood and how it lead to her career in journalism. At a young age, she lived in a small town in Iowa. “When I was little my mom would take me to the library, and the librarian would let me check out as many books as I wanted, and so I thought when I grow up what would I want to be? Well, I loved books and all I could think about was books. I loved books so I guess I must have to be a librarian because that was my only reference point being in a small town in Iowa,” she said.
She went on to study journalism and sociology in college and interned at Reader’s Digest as a junior in college. After graduating, Rohlena got a job at a women’s magazine and was promoted after a year. She worked at other places for about 10 years but then ended up working for Reader’s Digest again. Rohlena then left and worked for Consumer Reports for 10 years before going back to Reader’s Digest and her current job. Rohlena stressed to students that there are a great number of careers that are affiliated with journalism so the field remains open to those who want to continue to write and report information, whether in magazine form, on the Internet, or in ways that may not even be invented yet.