Sami Edge - Emerald EiC 2014-2015

 

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 at UO and was enrolled in the Clark Honors College. Graduated 2016. My time at UO was exceptional. I couldn't have asked for a better student experience.

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

I started my career at The Santa Fe New Mexican in 2017 as a digital producer, then quickly graduated to covering cops, crime and public safety. This spring I moved to Boise, Idaho for a job at Idaho Education News, a digital non-profit newsroom. I'm learning my way around the education beat and having fun with digital publishing and audience engagement.

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

Sami Edge Grad Cap

The Emerald laid the groundwork for every skill I use as a reporter. My first news job at The Emerald listening to the police scanner taught me how to hustle when news breaks. Working as the higher education reporter taught me how to cover a beat. My amazing coworkers at The Emerald taught me how to collaborate with other reporters to improve our work and come up with cool new ideas. Most importantly, learning how to report in a newsroom that prioritized innovation, perseverance and excellence embedded those values in my brain. I aim to #FSU.

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

Choosing a single favorite memory would be impossible. One that stands out for me is the time I spent holed up in the newsroom for days on end in the spring of 2014, covering allegations of sexual assault against three mens basketball players. A handful of news and sports reporters spent every waking moment making phone calls, requesting records, knocking on doors and busting out copy for a story that really rocked campus. We missed class and tests and barely went home to sleep (some people actually spent the night on the newsroom couch). These few days in Emerald history really stand out to me because of how dedicated our team was to owning that story and doing responsible reporting. That kind of work ethic isn't always easy to find in professional newsrooms, even. I was (and still am) so proud to have worked with that crew. Shout out to everyone who worked on that story.

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

During my year as Editor at The Emerald I decided we should start creating immersive multimedia projects. So, I put together a team of designers and developers who worked on customized digital layouts for some of our best stories. We built and published a handful of those stories throughout the year. Coding, designing and coordinating those stories was time intensive and certainly came with a learning curve for everyone involved. I'm glad we did it, though. The stories helped teach me to think creatively about presenting data and incorporating multimedia in a way that advances the story. That has been a real asset in traditional print newsrooms where there is a will for innovation, but few people thinking with that digital-forward mindset.

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 am still very close with a core group of people from The Emerald. We text and we talk on the phone and sometimes catch each other at conferences. I have no doubt these relationships will last for a long, long time.

I'm in awe of so many people that worked at The Emerald before and after I did. I'd love to have an Emerald reunion so I can meet them all in one place. If I had to reconnect with just a few people: Eliza Collins and Anne Yilmaz, you guys are so cool. What have you been up to?

2014-2015 Emerald Staff Picnic

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

Go for it. If you have a unique, crazy and exciting project you want to finish during your time at The Emerald, make it happen. A student newspaper is such a unique environment for creating enterprising work, because you have the ability to experiment without a lot of red tape. That won't always be so easy to do in professional newsrooms, so do it now. Try new things. Learn from them. Then use them to demonstrate your professional ambitions.

Parting shot?

I have a poster hanging in my office that The Emerald staff gave me at the end of my year as Editor in Chief. At the bottom it has all of the one-liners we used in the newsroom: "Never Settle. Find A Way. Set The Pace and Fuck Shit Up. Always." I live by those words.