Medina awarded a prestigious NYT Fellowship
Recent journalism graduate, Eduardo Medina (class of 2020) continues to excel in his chosen field. In addition to interning at the San Francisco Chronicle and working as a Hearst fellow at the Albany Times Union in New York, Medina was just named a New York Times 2021-22 Fellow.
Medina is from Birmingham, Ala., and was selected as one of only 17 NYT Fellows after the company evaluated more than 3,000 applications.
"When they told me I was selected for the fellowship, the first thing I did was call my mom. When she picked up, my voice kind of quivered as I shared the news with her. We cried on the phone together. I was just so overwhelmed with gratitude for everything she's done for me, and I felt happy I could make her proud. Once we settled down, we both immediately started thinking about where the heck I was going to live," Medina said.
In addition to the NYT Fellowship, Medina also recently took sixth place in the 61st annual William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program, in which 103 undergraduate journalism programs at universities across the nation are eligible to participate. One hundred fifty feature writing entries from 79 universities were received in this competition. Medina won for his article on the first Auburn University student confirmed to have COVID-19. This is the award-winning story.
He was previously was awarded a prestigious Hearst Fellowship and worked as a reporter at the Albany Times Union in New York.
We asked Medina a few questions about his new position, and what his experience at Auburn was like. Read more, below.
Did your work at The Auburn Plainsman help you achieve your success?
The Plainsman will always be my home. It's where I fell in love with this journalism thing, and it's where I was lucky enough to work alongside the smartest, funniest, most thoughtful group of people I've ever known. Everyone in that dungeon-like office made me a better journalist, and a better person, every day, so I owe the world to The Plainsman, and, specifically, to the people who make it such a special, fun newsroom to work at.
How did your course work in the School of Communication and Journalism help you to achieve this?
Having people believe in you is such a blessing, and that's exactly what I had in the School of Communication and Journalism. I was never the best student in my journalism classes. In fact, I would say I was a pretty crappy student. But my professors always told me — and many continue to tell me — that if I do the work of reporting and apply myself, I can tell meaningful stories. And that's what I've tried to take the heart: Report, report some more, keep on reporting, write — repeat. The reporting lessons I got from my professors will always be valuable.
What will you be doing at the New York Times?
I'll be working on the Express Desk, which means I'll be reporting out and writing breaking news stories, as well as general assignment stories.
How has Auburn helped you turn your passion into a career?
Auburn, and the state of Alabama, really, is such a rich place to do journalism. There are so many stories to tell on the plains, and I was lucky that I got to tell some during my years there.