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Work experience

Jun 2012Present

Intern & Freelance Journalist

Ventura County Reporter

I recently began working as an intern and freelance journalist for the VC Reporter in Ventura, CA. My current work there includes stories on domestic violence within the local community, an upcoming feature article on human trafficking within massage parlors, and a story about cosplayers at Anime Expo 2012.

Jun 2011Present

Waiter, Busboy, & Dishwasher

Gotetsu Skewers

I currently work as a waiter, busboy, and dishwasher at Gotetsu. I deal with all aspects of the business from serving food to taking orders and calculating bills.

Aug 2010Jun 2012


The Foothill Dragon Press

I worked as a Journalist-at-Large for the Foothill Dragon Press for the past two years covering a wide variety of stories. My work primarily focused on topics relating to children and armed conflict. During that time, I covered many stories such as the Occupy Los Angeles protests, the impact of the Libyan Revolution on the nation's youth, and even an interview with a former Liberian warlord turned Evangelical preacher named General Butt Naked. I've also covered topics relating to music and film, including an interview with a nerdcore rapper named Richie Branson.

Jan 2010Dec 2010

Sales Associate

Inside Track Running Shop

I worked as running apparel sales associate selling shoes, gear, and other items for active individuals. I also gave out detailed and specialized advice to customers on a regular basis from my personal experience as a runner and athlete.


Personal Initiative

For me, the words initiative and journalism are one and the same. Over the past two years as a Journalist-at-Large for the Foothill Dragon Press I've pursued stories much bigger than the small community that is Ventura, California. Because of my relative distaste for the rather bland scene that is local news, I decided to pursue stories on a national and international that were still relevant to members of the local community. I've covered stories such as the impact of the Libyan revolution on the nation's youth and an interview with a former Liberian warlord turned Christian preacher named General Butt Naked. I covered the protests as Occupy Los Angeles to give people here a better understanding of the diverse views of the many protesters. I've also written extensively about First Amendement issues, including an article about the potential impact of SOPA on teens and the threat posed by a proposed California law banning the sale of violent video games to minors. I've even covered live events such as the Independent Spirit Awards and Anime Expo 2011. Overall, I feel that my portfolio of work speaks for itself in conveying my extreme passion for the art of journalism.


Outside of my work as a journalist, I am engaged in a variety of community activities. This year I volunteered for over 65 hours with the Reckoning Project, a weekly after school workshop designed to teach 4th and 5th graders important leadership and life skills through the art of photography. I also spent over 45 hours creating a short-subject documentary about the emotional and psychological impact of casework on police detectives. For the film, I interviewed and shadowed a number of detectives within the Ventura Police Department, spoke with a psychologist who specializes in treating law enforcement officials, and interviewed the wife of one of the detectives.

My Highlight

The best moment of my career as a student journalist, no the best moment of high school for me, was the interview I did with the late Tim Hetherington in late 2010. His words to me in that brief 20 minute conversation late at night at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles literally changed the entire course of my life. Before walking into that auditorium I had no inkling of what it was I wanted to do, but by the time I walked out my mind was set. Tim gave me something truly invaluable, a path, something to pursue passionately to the ends of the Earth no matter how hard it gets. This burning drive and passion for the craft of journalism is what has created the journalist who sits here writing this today.


My name is Ben Gill and I am a former "Journalist-at-Large" for the my high school's online newspaper, The Foothill Dragon Press. I currently work as an intern for the Ventura County Reporter.  I specialize in stories relating to children and armed conflict that are relevant to teenagers. I've covered stories ranging from the impact of the Libyan revolution on the nation's youth to an interview with a former Liberian warlord turned Christian preacher named General Butt Naked. I've interviewed a wide variety of people, including UN Under-Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy, journalists such as Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, the chief spokesmen for Libya's National Transitional Council, Jalal al-Gallal, and a number of other noteworthy people. My ultimate goal as an adult is to become a roving correspondent for Al-Jazeera English.

My entire portfolio of work can be found here:


1.) Interview with Nerdcore Rapper Richie Branson entitled "Talking Toonami with the Otaku King, Richie Branson."

2.) Video interview with documentary filmmakers Daniele Anastasion and Eric Strauss on their award-winning film, The Redemption of General Butt Naked. "Directors speak about 'General Butt Naked' movie."

3.) Interview with former Liberian warlord turned Christian preacher General Butt Naked (Joshua Milton Blayhi). "Murder to mercy: an interview with ex-General Butt Naked"

4.) Feature article on the impact of the Libyan Revolution on the nation's youth. Interviewees included Al-Jazeera English journalists Zeina Khodr and Tony Birtley, UN Under-Secretary-General Radhika Coomaraswamy, and Former National Transitional Council spokesmen Jalal al-Gallal. "Libyan youth paying price for freedom."

5.) News story on the diverse perspectives at the Occupy Los Angeles protests. "Occupy Los Angeles rages against banks; movement spreads to Ventura County."

To view my complete portfolio of work please see this link:

Character Traits

As cliched as it might sound, my goal as a journalist is to draw attention to the many injustices in the world that go on unnoticed everyday. In other words, by exposing the crimes and atrocities that so often receive little or no attention, I hope to bring about positive social change through the power of publicity. By drawing attention to these issues in the first place, I feel like I'm the first the step in the long equation of correcting these problems. And because my main focus as a journalist surrounds stories dealing with children and conflict, I hope to eventually witness meaningful change as a result of my writing. So when it comes to character, I can't think of anything more important than that. 


Creating an awesome network of contacts
I currently have professional contacts in places such as Liberia, Somalia, Lebanon, the United Kingdom, the United States, and a host of other places.
Journalistic Photography
Video Editing in Adobe Premiere Pro
Writing, reporting, and interviewing
Over the past two years a  journalist, I've covered and written about a wide variety of topics and social issues.


Melissa Wantz

Michael Sullivan