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Introducing the Class of 2020: Malak Silmi

The National Press Club Journalism Institute is spotlighting the next generation of journalists, students graduating from college or Master’s programs this spring into a challenging job market, in hopes they’ll meet future bosses and colleagues here, who will reach out and support them in building journalism’s future together. 

Malak Silmi, 20, Wayne State University.
(Photo by Ivan Flores, The New York Times Institute)

Name: Malak Silmi

School: Wayne State University

Location: Detroit, Michigan

News Editor: The South End

Bylines: New York Times Student Journalism Institute, Michigan Radio

What have you learned from your involvement with student media on your campus?

Silmi: I have strengthened my editing, pitching and reporting skills as a News Editor at my campus paper. I’ve also strengthened my ability to publish story angles that are significant and relevant to the student body and campus community.

What have you learned from your internship experience(s)?

Silmi: I learned how to network and maintain relationships with past editors, and how to always be relied on and available for any breaking story, or any task that needed to be completed in the newsroom.

What’s been your best moment in journalism?

Silmi: My best moment has to be my last day at my internship with Michigan Radio. There was a story that I broke and I ended up working on all day and night when I got home. It was a very stressful, but rewarding day since my story also made it in on the morning host’s script. 

What’s the wackiest story you’ve worked on? 

Silmi: Recently, I covered a campus Student Senate Zoom meeting and witnessed a Zoombombing incident where unexpected pornographic content was shared. I was both scarred and confused. 

What do you want to accomplish in your journalism career?

Silmi: Being able to help a family, community or any population in a positive way through a story or issue I cover, would be my biggest accomplishment. I decided to pursue journalism because I grew up seeing so many stories untold and so many people distrusting the news media, and really wanted that to change.

If you could meet any journalist and ask for her/his advice, who would it be and why?

Silmi: Dena Takruri from AJ+, because I love her story angles and video work that she has hosted or produced. 

What do you want potential employers to know about you?

Silmi: I have a social personality and love to visit new places and talk to people who may not look like me. As someone who comes from a Spanish-Arab household, I am in love with cultures, languages, travel, people and the intersections of how politics can impact all and any of those positively or negatively.

When you aren’t practicing journalism, how do you spend your time?

Silmi: Reading historical fiction, sharing content on my social media accounts and baking sweets for my family and friends. 

If you’re a senior studying journalism, or know one, we’re accepting information here for students to feature in the future. If you’re a supporter, you can contribute here to scholarships for journalism students.