Nora Simon

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 history, and graduated in 2011. I loved my time in Eugene. There was always something going on, and it really felt like this time of profound professional and personal growth, not to mention it was a lot of fun. It didn’t hurt that the Ducks almost won a national championship, which helped add to the excitement of being on campus, and was a big part of what we covered at the Emerald.


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

Last year, I started with The Washington Post as a multiplatform editor, which includes copy editing for print and online. Before that, I worked at The Oregonian in Portland for seven years. I was a Dow Jones copy editing intern after graduating, spent a couple years as letters editor on the editorial team, and then got to copy edit projects for the past couple years.


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

The Emerald taught me about teamwork and the challenges and fun of producing a daily paper. When you work with a team that closely, you lean on each other’s expertise a lot. So it taught me that, while there may be one person ultimately in charge, there are so many points of view to help you come to the best decision. It’s always valuable to question your own thinking, which is a big part of editing, and to realize there are multiple ways to view things.


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

Honestly, I’m struggling to single out one thing in particular. Every day working with an incredibly talented staff had its moments. I feel lucky to have been there when veteran journalist Mike Thoele was our interim publisher, when our new revolutionary publisher Ryan Frank was hired, and when the staff presented a papier-mache fedora to UO President Richard Lariviere after he wrote the foreword for our book.


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

When it looked like the Ducks were headed to the national championship, our professional team floated the idea of creating a book about the season. We worked with an independent publisher, and people across the newsroom edited the stories, photos and captions. It was a fun way to wrap up the season, even if that last game didn’t go the way we wanted.


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

Mostly through social media. I met one of my best friends on the Emerald copy desk, and there’s a group of Emerald alums in the Seattle area who I saw most often in Portland. Now that I’m on the East Coast, I’d love to catch up more often with people who have gotten jobs out here.


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

Never stop learning. Embrace change. Remember the goal. Journalism has changed so much in even the eight years since I graduated, but the fundamentals remain the same. If you can answer the question “Why?” that will get you far. Keep seeking out knowledge and realize you always have room to grow.

Parting shot?

I love seeing all the innovation, projects and passion that are still a big part of the Emerald culture. It makes me proud to be an Emerald alum.