Just another day on the job? Not so for Andrew Howard, the college journalist who broke one of the biggest stories of the week. The 20-year-old Arizona State University junior was first to report that Kurt Volker, the State Department's special envoy for Ukraine, was stepping down amid tensions over a whistleblower complaint that led to a House impeachment probe of President Trump, the New York Times reports. The student newspaper, the State Press, was able to confirm Volker's resignation with a school official because Volker is executive director at a Washington think tank, the McCain Institute, which is run by ASU.
"I didn't take a different approach to this story than any other," says Howard. "Everyone's looking for an 'aha' moment that I don't think was there." The Phoenix native was working as an intern at the Arizona Republic when the story got posted Friday evening, forcing him to handle two jobs at once and apologize to editors there. Stories at his ASU paper normally attract a few thousand hits, but this one topped 100,000 and won praise from a CNN reporter and a Times reporter. "It's amazing to see so many people coming to the support of student journalists around the globe," State Press Editor in Chief Kimberly Rapanut tells the Washington Post. "I think it's easy to forget that student journalists are real journalists also." (In related news, a TV reporter reacted to an on-air kiss.)