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Hunter College Fosters The Next Generation of Talented Journalists

Michael Tamsuriyamit, a senior at Hunter College, grew up an avid news consumer with a strong interest in broadcast journalism. From as early as middle school, he was fascinated by the camera and being able to tell stories that matter to peoplewatching at home. Over time he developed an admiration for the reporters and anchors he watched covering stories on the frontlines, which inspired him to want to be an on-camera reporter as well. 

Michael Tamsuriyamit (far left) and Melina Jorge (far right) pictured with Professor Sissel McCarthy and their classmates at the Hunter News Now (HNN) desk for the class, Studio News Production.

During the pandemic and into college, as his journalism career progressed, he found himself reflecting on his identity as an Asian American. He chose to center Asian Americans in his reporting while taking Reporting and Writing II, taught by Professor Annie Byrnes, at a time when anti-Asian hate crimes were on the rise. This led to his first major breakthrough when Buzzfeed News published his online activism story about Gen Z Asian Americans.

“For me, it really taught me that the work and the journalism that you may do for school may matter to a greater audience,” said Tamsuriyamit.

Tamsuriyamit is currently a digital news intern for ABC7 Eyewitness News. He’s one of many who have reaped the benefits of being a student in Hunter’s Journalism Program. The program is known to have a rigorous curriculum, teaching students how to report across multiple mediums such as audio, video, photography, print, and digital. Students have had their work published, won awards, and found success with internships and jobs.

Michael Tamsuriyamit aspired to be an on-camera reporter like the ones he grew up watching. Now he’s interning with ABC7 Eyewitness News.

Melina Jorge, who graduated this past winter, was attracted to journalism as she always had a way with words. While in the program, she pursued her passion for broadcast by taking Studio News Production taught by Professor Sissel McCarthy, where students put on their own TV news broadcast for Hunter News Now (HNN). Jorge got to interview student athletes and sporting events at Hunter as the only sports producer/reporter in the class. Her interview with Sarah Decker, the captain of the swimming and diving team, got the attention of the CUNY TV show, “Urban U,” who wanted to use one of her videos for their show after it was posted on HNN’s YouTube channel.

“I think that because I was doing sports the whole last semester, it piqued an interest of mine,” said Jorge. “My dream job would be to be a sports anchor, or a sports commentator.”

She interned with CUNY TV for their show “LATiNAS,” where she and fellow Latina students got to pitch their own segments. Jorge, who double majored in studio art and journalism, pitched and worked on a segment focusing on Latina artists in New York City. She interviewed Susanna Temkin, the curator for El Museo del Barrio, and artist Shar Galarza about the lack of Latina representation in the art world.

Receiving these kinds of opportunities have allowed students such as Jorge to gain real-world experience in the journalism field. The pieces they’ve worked on and published as students can be critical to receiving internships or jobs after they graduate.

Melina Jorge during an HNN broadcast for the course, Studio News Production. Her time studying broadcast journalism developed her interest in reporting on sports.

Angrej Singh, a Hunter alum, found that the pieces he wrote for his Nehighborhood News course’s student publication, The Athenian, played a role in getting him an internship with the New York Daily News right after he graduated in June 2021. Singh was always on the run when he was interning there, following stories that took him to all parts of the city. He’s interviewed several politicians and a diverse set of New Yorkers. The internship gave him a sense of what it’s like to work in a fast-paced environment, along with reporting and writing stories on the go. 

“Everyone had something unique to offer,” said Singh. “It feels nice to be a part of a community in journalism.”

Singh is currently working at Axios. Not only does he write stories, but he helps run their social media and works on interactive projects. One of those audience engagement projects was the publication’s Streaming Optimizer, a tool to help users manage their streaming subscriptions. He said that his job at the site has let him experiment with the ways news can be told on different platforms. 

Angrej Singh credits the pieces he wrote for The Athenian for landing him a Daily News internship. This would eventually lead him to his current job at Axios. 

Tamsuriyamit, Jorge, and Singh have credited Hunter’s journalism program for helping them prepare and succeed in their own careers. Some advice they would give to other journalism students based on their achievements would be to take advantage of what you have, be persistent, and to chase after your dreams.

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