Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 22, 2022

A conversation with Benjamin Kupferberg, News Editor '13

By CYNTHIA HU | May 17, 2021

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FILE PHOTO

Students gather in Brody Learning Commons to film a Harlem Shake video in 2013, when Kupferberg attended Hopkins.

Benjamin Kupferberg graduated from Hopkins in 2015 and from SAIS in 2016. He worked for The News-Letter all four years he was an undergraduate, from 2012-2015. He started by breaking coverage on Professor Steve Hanke’s uncovering of hyperinflation in Iran, which gave The News-Letter national attention. He was then a News Editor and worked alongside Evan Brooker and Nash Jenkins, “some of the finest men to ever grace the Gatehouse.”

The News-Letter: Why did you first decide to join The News-Letter

BK: I decided to join The News-Letter just because of the access it gave me at Hopkins. In my first couple of weeks of being on The News-Letter, I interviewed Omar from The Wire, Michael Kenneth Williams. I had a one-on-one sit down with him for a half hour after he spoke to 500 people at Hopkins. I interviewed the former head of the central bank in Greece, which is actually an article that I even quoted when I was interviewing for jobs, five years later. Those are a couple of the more memorable ones. 

N-L: What were some of your favorite articles that you wrote?

BK: Breaking the coverage of Professor Hanke’s hyperinflation in Iran was pretty neat because The News-Letter broke that story before the national media, because it was our professor. So after I published that story, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal all caught wind of the story and actually showed up to his office literally the next day. I remember seeing the reporters outside his door.

N-L: How do you remember The News-Letter impacting the greater student body at Hopkins?

BK: I still remember driving around in a golf cart and dropping off the stacks of newspapers everywhere. Very fond memories. I’m not going to lie, I don’t know if everybody read it, but I definitely would see people frequently pick up the paper and flip through it and it was just rewarding to see people look at your work. 

I went to SAIS as well. I was in D.C. and then Italy. I don't think it had made its way all the way to Italy, but especially in D.C. it was neat to see people pick up the newspaper and see what was going on in Baltimore all the way from D.C. when they’re probably 27-, 28-, 29-year-old graduate students.

N-L: How did your time at The News-Letter help prepare you for your career after college?

BK: I have been in the finance industry since I graduated, so I can’t say that I’m in the news or media industry like a lot of the other people I was there with. But what I will say is that I think in any industry, especially finance, it’s very, very important to be well-written and well-read and well-informed.

Generally, I think it’s important to show an interest in the world and in news — you have an interview with someone very important at Hopkins and it’s an hour long and you have to synthesize that into what’s actually the relevant takeaway. I think that’s really important, both in finance and in the general world. 

N-L: Have you kept up friendships with News-Letter coworkers since graduating?

BK: One of them was one of my super close friends, and we still hang out all the time and actually reminisce about The News-Letter often, specifically about messing up the formatting and having someone else solve it and just going into crisis mode. So yeah, definitely.

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