UB Degree BA ’92, communication; Favorite teacher: The late LeRoy (Lee) Smith, a journalism professor and Spectrum adviser “who influenced every UB journalism student of my generation”; Interests: Contemporary art and textiles, traveling and hiking, exploring Paris and the rest of Europe; Where to find her: Running near the Eiffel Tower (photo by Dominique Cabrelli)
For someone whose mantra is “take the road less traveled,” journalist Lauren Cabell, BA ’92, sure has logged a lot of miles.
Proof points: Her editorial wanderlust took her to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune in just 10 years. She applied for her present job near the end of a two-year break from newspapers to hike through New Zealand and Australia. Oh, and that current job? Cabell has worked for nearly three years in Paris as a news editor and designer for the International Herald Tribune, one of the world’s preeminent English-language dailies.
Cabell insists her far-flung adventures emerged from a “willingness to take risks and expose myself to something different. I’ve always been open to bushwhacking through the wilds of life rather than taking the road everyone else does.”
Even her ultimate major at UB was a self-described “huge detour.” First enrolled in architecture, Cabell switched to communication. She combined her interests in athletics (she ran track and field) and writing and began reporting on sports for the Spectrum. Sports journalism became her passion, which she indulged for the first several years of her career before moving into hard news editing.
Today, in editing and designing the news section of the International Herald Tribune’s European editions, she uses an architect’s skills in “organizing, assembling and presenting a package that works.” Her challenge: to put out the “highest-quality newspaper we can every day—and to do it in seven hours.” She helps determine, among other things, which stories make the paper, how much space they’ll get and what they look like—“rarely an easy task,” Cabell says.
She also makes clear that, while the International Herald Tribune has its roots in the United States, “We strive to provide a view that’s not American. Often people in the U.S. seek us out online so they can see American news from a non-U.S. perspective.” Indeed, the paper devotes most of its coverage to European and Asian news.
Though her current position would seem a defining life moment, Cabell feels what distinguishes her last decade is the time she hasn’t worked. During her two years of travel, she explains, “I had the chance to step back and think about what I wanted to spend time doing.” Deciding to continue her career in France, after being “exposed to so many different ways of looking at the world,” is simply an extension of her ongoing adventure.
Story by Grace A. Lazzara