When Shaker Samman works on a story, he goes all in.
For a story on the phenomenon of juice cleanses, Shaker consumed 18 bottles of juice over three days — and lived to tell about it. For a magazine article on the Duke baseball team, Shaker tried out for the team even though he had never played the game before.
Shaker’s passion is great sportswriting. When writers for Grantland held a dinner to mourn ESPN’s decision to shut down the site, Shaker managed to get himself invited and flew to New York to hang out with them.
“Grantland is what got me into high-quality sportswriting and showed me that there was more to sports journalism than gamer stories and press release,” he says.
Shaker, from Port Huron, Mich., is a junior studying public policy and getting the Policy Journalism and Media Studies certificate. In the Reporters’ Lab, Shaker has tracked the growth of fact-checking around the world by compiling and updating the Lab’s database. He’s also written articles for Lab’s website and authored a fact-check in the North Carolina Senate race for PolitiFact.
He wants to pursue a career in journalism.
“I like being able to ask questions,” Shaker says. “When I was a kid, I would infuriate my parents friends by asking too many questions. This seems like a way to make my annoying habit a career.”