Professor Writes About Foreign Policy Online

Professor Writes About Foreign Policy Online

Dr. Steve Jones lectures in one of his history classes.

Steve Jones, professor of history and social science at Southwestern, does more than just fascinate students with his wisdom of all things war and history.  He is the new U.S. Foreign Policy writer for about.com. Before he received his PhD and became a professor of history, Jones received his bachelors in journalism and worked 15 years at a news magazine.

Steve Jones found about.com like any other person would, by searching the Internet.  As time went on, he became familiar with it.  Wanting to get back into writing, Jones began searching for job openings in the history category of the website.  Jones said, “I saw plenty of job openings, but not in areas where I wanted to write.”

When the US/Foreign Affairs category needed a new journalist, Jones jumped on the opportunity.  He began the difficult process of applying to work for about.com. After sending in his resume, editors and owners of about.com ran a background check, made him prove that he could write, and that he could write on a deadline. Jones had to learn basic html, and still had to be approved by a committee of people.

By mid-February of this year, Jones knew he would get the job. Then a few months later, in May, about.com sealed the deal.  Jones is one of 900 employees, also called guides, at about.com.  They basically handed him the US/Foreign Affairs category of the website, and let him run it by himself.

Jones says, “Working at about.com is a lot of fun.  It rolls in everything that I like, and it’s basically history in another form. I can work when I want to, there are loose deadlines, and I set my own parameters. I’m not trying to be a news breaker, but instead want to take stories and write them in such a way that anyone can understand.”

As a writer and teacher, Jones shares this advice with students: “Some people freak out about writing. I don’t know why. Writing is not difficult at all if you immerse yourself in a topic.

“I started working at a newspaper when I was 19. It was a little town with 25,000 people.  There was crime, murder, fire, car crashes, and all kinds of great stuff.  It was a daily paper, so I had to write many different stories and have them ready by the afternoon. It’s not hard to write if you get into what you are writing about.”

Working for Southwestern, Jones enjoys the small classrooms and the atmosphere. “Classes are not very big, so you can get to know people,” says Jones. “The students can ask questions and be heard.  Classes even become giant conversations, as long as the students stay on topic. It’s a much better atmosphere than a college with 30,000 people where students and faculty can get lost.”

Here at Southwestern, Jones teaches a class called international relations.  Because of his work at the website, Jones dubs this class “3,000 times better.”  He says that because he is immersed in the subject, the class has become “extra good.”

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1 Comment

  1. Max
    October 06, 14:57 Reply
    Internation Relations is a superb class. I took it from Dr. Jones and have nothing but high praise. Congratulations Dr. Jones for your success!

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