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Graduate Story: Claire Tighe ’13, Journalist and Producer

Claire Tighe on the streets of New York City

"In all of my classes, I felt lucky to be surrounded by thoughtful and engaging peers who were pushing campus to be more diverse and sustainable."

—Claire Tighe '13 

Claire Tighe '13 is an award-winning journalist and audio producer who recently helped produce a limited narrative series for Audible called Pipeline to Power about politics and the Supreme Court. The former women’s & gender studies major has produced projects for Audible, Vox, the Chicago Tribune, NBC News, MSNBC and Netflix, among other outlets. She also teaches podcast journalism at New York University, Hunter College and Maine College of Art & Design’s Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.

Tell us a little about what you do.

As a producer, my work spans the entire creation process: I help build storyboards for episodes and full seasons, source ideas for people we should talk to, write scripts and edit audio. Last year, I worked as the supervising producer on the Unsealed: The Tylenol Murders, an eight-part serialized narrative podcast made in partnership with the Chicago Tribune. I worked with a team of producers and journalists to record interviews, wrote original music, combed through FBI documents and sourced archival audio.

Recently, I was a part of the production team for a special episode of On With Kara Swisher, a podcast that interviewed Geena Davis about a vulnerable experience she had at work. My hope is for every podcast I make to reach listeners who want groundbreaking, compelling and complicated audio stories.

What was your Dickinson experience like?

I spent a lot of time with friends talking about big ideas in Denny Hall, reading in the Adirondack chairs in the academic quad and walking through the stacks of Waidner-Spahr. In all of my classes I felt lucky to be surrounded by thoughtful and engaging peers who were pushing campus to be more diverse and sustainable. I also loved the extracurriculars I was a part of: I was a member of the Mermaid Players, lived in the Treehouse and wrote a piece or two for the square alternative newspaper (with actual paper!).

How did Dickinson help prepare you for where you are today?

The first time I ever made a podcast episode was at Dickinson! One of my favorite classes was the interdisciplinary collaboration between the Center for Sustainability Education and the gender studies department with Susannah Bartlow and Sarah Brylinski. We had to create an audio episode for a project. Although I remember it being difficult, I also think that’s where I started to fall in love with audio as a form of storytelling.

Dickinson also emphasized striving for a “life beyond the limestone,” pushing us to engage our ideas in the world and people outside of campus. The idea of “activist scholarship” in my major had a large influence on how I see what I do today as a journalist. My goal with everything I create is to educate, inform or entertain my audience.


Published October 4, 2023