Student Journalist Spotlight: Kyli Singh, Opinion Editor, The Miami Hurricane

Smokers’ rights.  Students’ sexual health.  Digital textbooks.  The arts in higher education.  Illegal music downloading.  Weapons possession in restaurants and bars.  Campus parking.  The campus shuttle service.  The campus police Emergency Notification Network.  The Amish.  The Tea Party.  President Obama. Greg Giraldo.  Marco Rubio.  Lauryn Hill.

What do all these issues and individuals have in common? Kyli Singh.  As opinion editor for The Miami Hurricane, the University of Miami’s award-winning semi-weekly student newspaper, Singh has overseen nearly a semester’s worth of diatribes, perspectives, viewpoints, assessments, interpretations, inferences, and suppositions on the topics above and many more.

For her work evaluating and sharing the opinions of the Hurricane staff and the UM student body, Singh rightfully earns a place in the CMM Student Journalist Spotlight. Below, she discusses her leap into journalism and offers advice for j-students interested in following her editorial path.

Kyli Singh, opinion editor, The Miami Hurricane

How did you first become interested in journalism?

After attending University of Miami’s Peace Sullivan/James Ansin High School Workshop in Journalism and New Media as a junior in high school, I not only decided that I wanted to attend the University of Miami, but I enjoyed reporting and writing. In this four week workshop, we produced multimedia pieces, a Miami Montage newspaper and learned from industry professionals. We had field trips to the Miami Herald and practiced our reporting skills. It was definitely the best experience and sparked my interested in pursuing journalism.  Following this summer workshop, I became editor in chief of Tampa Preparatory High School’s The Terrapin Times and utilized the skills I learned from this workshop.

Why does the Hurricane rock?

The Hurricane rocks because we have a variety of talented and skillful staff members. An important aspect about the Hurricane is that our staff members know that a “team” is not all about gold crowns and prestigious plaques. Instead, it is about working well together to produce a paper that everyone enjoys. Because we have such strong leaders and editors who are passionate about their work and always give 100 percent, we rock!

What’s the most challenging part of running the opinion section?

The most challenging part is handling complaints from many people who disagree with certain op-ed pieces or editorials. I always try to encourage them to send in a letter to the editor or write a column for my section. I like showing different points of views on certain issues, and want our student body to know that.

Memorable Hurricane moment.

A memorable moment for me was when I found out I got promoted from being a copyeditor to the opinion editor earlier this year. When I was a sophomore, I applied to be the opinion editor for spring 2010 and sadly, did not get the position. I was crushed. Instead, I became a copyeditor and worked hard to achieve my goals. I ended up enjoying copyediting, but decided to apply again for opinion editor for the fall 2010 semester and got the position! Hard work really does pay off.

What advice do you have for j-students who want to follow in your footsteps and become a campus newspaper editor extraordinaire?

Don’t be shy! When I was a freshman, my biggest problem was that I didn’t know how to break into the newspaper staff and who to contact to write. If I could go back in time, I would have been more assertive and would have tried to get involved with the Hurricane as a freshman. Put yourself out there, e-mail section editors till they respond, and attend staff editorial meetings. Make yourself known.

You wake up in ten years.  Where are you and what are you doing?

Thinking about the future makes me nervous. I’m not sure where I’m going and what I’ll be doing, but I do that I will always try my best to achieve my goals. Ten years from now, I hope to be working abroad. I hope to be either teaching or working for the media in a different country.  My whole life I’ve dreamt of becoming a foreign correspondent, traveling the world, and doing what I love most– writing. We’ll see where writing takes me.

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