Meet Wednesday’s USC Editor!

Melisa Cabello-Cuahutle, a senior studying journalism, shares editing tips and her favorite parts of working at Annenberg Media.

[One-sentence description of what this media is: "A photo of a vaccine site on USC campus" or "Gif of dancing banana". Important for accessibility/people who use screen readers.]

Why did you choose to become an editor?

I was an editor of my other school paper before I got here and I really liked it. And I just wanted to get more experience even though we are teaching other people how to [write]. You also learn a lot by being an editor.

Why be a USC editor specifically?

Something that I really like about school papers in general is the sense of community. And I’m not confident that we will get that once we graduate. So it’s like, now is a time to try it and do it because USC is always such a small community. It gives me a big sense of belonging.

What is your favorite part of being a USC editor?

I really liked the pitch meeting because I really like the flow of story potential. It’s entertaining. You get an idea of what your day is gonna look like. I really like telling stories. So in a way, it’s like people are telling stories to me.

How do you recognize what is or is not a good article?

I think everyone’s gonna have different expectations for an article. To me, the main question is, does it solve a problem or does it [answer] a question? Does it tell you something that you don’t already know?

How do you edit an article without removing the original author’s voice?

I actually don’t really think that I do a lot of rewriting. I think I definitely move sentences around. But it shouldn’t change the voice. It should just change the clarity of it.

What are you hoping to do after school?

My dream job is to be an international correspondent. So I’m really interested in covering Mexico and Latin America or just the global south in general. Right now my actual plan is to have a fellowship next year, and I’m not sure that I’m going to grad school. I’m interested in doing a master’s in comparative politics or like something that covers the global south, or maybe I’ll do something like communications. But right now, politics, something in political science is my number one option.

What can Annenberg Media do to better engage the surrounding community?

I think the content part of [Annenberg Media] is great. The community engagement is not great. Like right now someone was asking, where can I watch ATVN? I feel like most people don’t really know that we’re here. So I think we can have like a little bit more publicity on that part.

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become an editor?

I think number one would be, don’t get stuck into one beat. Although having a beat is important and having a passion for one thing is very important, I do think that if you want to be an editor, if you want to help others to get journalism, you need to have a more broad set of experiences. And also just really understanding that different people come from different backgrounds and they’re going to have different needs.