Professional Advisory Board

Professional Advisory Board Mission Statement

The Johns Hopkins University does not have a formal journalism program or trade school, and The News-Letter is where many students interested in journalism get their start. We believe that a Professional Advisory Board is the best way to receive experienced guidance while maintaining our financial and editorial independence from the University.

The Board is composed of experienced editors and writers, from various local and national publications, who cover a wide range of subjects. The Board provides The News-Letter’s editorial staff with advice and feedback on a range of issues, from journalistic ethics to editorial practices.

Ultimately, all decisions rest with the Editors-in-Chief of The News-Letter and no member of the Board can be held liable for decisions made by the paper.

 Board Members
Adam Baer began in journalism filing freelance music reviews for The Washington Post while writing for this publication and interning at City Paper in his Hopkins senior year. He soon began working at NPR and contributing to The New York Times and Slate. He’s been a music critic for the New York Sun, a correspondent for Travel + Leisure, a contributing editor for Inc. magazine, and a music reviewer for The Los Angeles Times. His work has also appeared in Harper’s, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Atlantic, and other publications. Over the years, he’s helped launch and run editorial startups; he’s also tutored and volunteered on editorial boards for community projects in Los Angeles.
Jean Marbella is a reporter on The Baltimore Sun’s investigative and enterprise team. She joined The Sun in 1987 and has been a health reporter, a feature writer, a national correspondent, an editor and a metro columnist. She has covered a broad range of stories from 9/11 in New York to Michael Phelps in the Olympics to the post-Freddie Gray uprising and rioting in Baltimore, for which The Sun staff was a Pulitzer finalist. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Jenna McLaughlin graduated from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars program with a Bachelor in Arts and Sciences in 2014. Upon graduation, she worked as an editorial fellow for Mother Jones Magazine, later becoming a reporter for The Intercept, an award-winning online news site founded by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Jeremy Scahill focused on national security news. She is now the intelligence reporter at Foreign Policy Magazine and lives and works in Washington, DC.

Fern Shen is the publisher and editor of Baltimore Brew, a daily news website with accountability and community reporting for Baltimore and the region. Shen reported for the the Baltimore Evening Sun in the late 1980s and then for 17 years was a staff writer for the Washington Post. An award-winning writer on The Post’s Metro staff, she covered Maryland state government and the General Assembly, local government, crime, environment and social issues. On the Style staff, she helped create and wrote for The “KidsPost” section, a daily page of news and features for young readers. Since it began publishing six years ago, the award-winning Baltimore Brew has become a trusted place for ground-breaking reporting on city government and neighborhoods. Shen, whose work has been published in the New York Times and other publications, has also been a fellow at the Knight Digital Media Center, at the University of California Berkeley.