JM Rieger

Rieger evolves from sports to politics

Written by Sarah Rogers
CAS Intern
JM Rieger

JM Rieger has always been passionate about whatever he has explored.

So it is not surprising that he transformed from an undergraduate sports broadcast fanatic to a postgraduate political journalist.

He said his varied experiences led to his success since his graduation from Miami in 2013.

“I’ve drawn from all of the different experiences I’ve had. Working for The Miami Student enabled me to build base reporting skills while Redhawk Radio and MUTV really enhanced my knowledge of being able to do things across different mediums from a production standpoint.”

He double majored in journalism and political science while minoring in marketing.

Add to that a variety of internship experiences, which led to his position as head of video production for Congressional Quarterly’s Roll Call in Washington, D.C. In 2016, Rieger moved the Huffington Post, where he is a producer.

As a sports enthusiast, he began his internship experience with a production intern role at Fox Sports in Los Angeles in the summer following his freshman year. In this position, he shadowed the Senior Vice President of Production and assisted him both in-studio and on-site during Fox Saturday Baseball broadcasts.

Rieger enjoyed learning the ins-and-outs of the major sports network while gaining a sense of how things work behind-the-scenes.

He began to apply his political knowledge in the spring of 2011 when he became a part of the “Inside Washington” program. He served as a production intern for “Meet the Press” under NBC News, where he aided in the production of a weekly television broadcast, edited and digitized tapes with producers and worked with the NBC News production crew on the “Changing Planet: Clean Energy and Green Jobs” television special.

He was also a marketing intern at Performics in Chicago during the summer of 2012. There, he was able to use his marketing minor to develop marketing content, conduct heavy research and be involved in branding projects.

He complemented his personal passion for sports with his academic interest of journalism by seizing a variety of on-campus leadership opportunities at Miami. He held several sports leadership roles with The Miami Student, Redhawk Radio and MUTV.

During his time with MUTV, he was a producer and broadcaster; he was a play-by-play announcer for live sporting events and co-anchored a weekly newscast.

Annie-Laurie Blair, a clinical professor at Miami was one of JM’s most memorable professors. “JM held major student media leadership roles at Miami for which he was highly respected,” she said. “He worked hard and was a very good friend to many students.”

Rieger said became fairly confident in what he wanted to do for a living after taking his senior capstone with Professor Howard Kleiman. It focused on television news and required students to produce a live television package and newscast every week.

“I learned how to shoot, edit and everything in between,” Rieger said. “I learned the technical stuff while incorporating journalism and reporting into it. I was exposed to the balancing act between journalism and reporting and gathering the resources to make it happen.”

Rieger began his experience at CQ Roll Call in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2013. Initially, he served as a reporting intern and wrote feature stories for the newspaper of Capitol Hill. He also developed content for the company’s annual “50 Richest” list.

He joined the corporation in a full-time role in September of 2013 as a video editor.

Rieger’s work was recognized throughout his time at Miami and he attributes much of his success to the cultivating learning environment and helpful professors.

He won two awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and won an investigative journalism award for a piece he wrote for The Miami Student about athletic department spending.

He thanks several teachers for their positive influences and for pushing him in the right directions. “The journalism faculty genuinely know the trade,” he said. “They make a constant effort to relate to students and promote them so they stand out in the job market during the stressful job hunt.”

Rieger said he believes being open-minded can lead students to success in the working world. He sees Miami as a place filled with opportunity to gain experience and build the skillsets that one needs to thrive.

He advises students to capture opportunities as they are presented and use Miami’s foundation to their advantage.

“Don’t necessarily look at things in a linear way and tell yourself that you are completely against doing this or that,” said Rieger. “If you have an open door and an opportunity, no matter in what position, take it.”

Rieger has kept in touch with Blair since his graduation. She has served as an informal mentor to him and has always admired his work ethic.

“I think JM has had success as a Miami student and in the journalism industry because he is willing to try new things, take risks, seek diverse mentors and balance work with play,” she said. “We recently met up at Quarter Barrel for a beer and to nosh on politics. It was the best hour I’ve spent with a Miami grad in a long while.”