Kaly Soto

What did you major/minor in at the University of Oregon? How would you describe your time at UO and when did you graduate?

I majored in journalism and graduated in 1997. I loved the University of Oregon. I grew up in Oregon, and I had intended to go out of state for school, but I am so glad I ended up a duck.  From 20 years on, my time there is a blur. But overall, I have a fond feeling when I think about those years.

Describe your career path, so far. Where are you working now and what are is your title?

I started working at the Salem Statesman Journal, my hometown paper, while I was still in college. I started on the copy desk, moved to reporting and then back to editing. In 2000, I left the SJ for the Charlotte Observer, and in 2003, I came to The New York Times. I am currently the deputy weekend editor at The Times.

How do you think your time at the Daily Emerald prepared you for the job you have now?

Working at The Emerald was the formative experience of my professional life. I had a preview there of much of the work I would later be doing. As the editor of The Emerald, I began to hone my news judgement, learned to work with reporters and editors, learned to be a diplomat, learned about budgets (news and financial) and saw how decisions I made could affect the larger community. I am so grateful for that foundational experience.

Describe your fondest memory relating to your time at the Daily Emerald

It’s been so long, specific memories are hard. I did love to stay late and hang out with the production crew as we put the paper to bed and then put it in a taxi and sent it to the printer. And I do remember being in the newsroom with Dave Charbonneau when we heard Kurt Cobain died. It’s not a fond, memory, though. I also enjoyed having my own office, I have not had one since.

Tell us about a time you managed a project at the Emerald. What was the process and the outcome?  

Well, we got the paper out every day, so I am proud of that.

How do you stay in touch with the team you worked with at the Emerald? Is there anyone you’d like to reconnect with?

I don’t really stay in touch with Emerald folks. Though David Thorn, the Emerald editor after me, worked for The Times for a long time in Hong Kong. I very occasionally see Gayle Foreman, who lives in New York and is a young adult author. And once in a while, I hear from Kathy Carbone.

If you had the opportunity to speak to current student journalists at the Emerald what would you say to them?

Take risks. Trust your gut. Know your worth. Take ALL your vacation days. Get your financial house in order and keep it in order.

Parting shot??