From command line to deadline, becoming a journalist for the digital age

My first experience with The Miami Hurricane was reading a column about loud sex and a resulting funny nickname. Needless to say, I don’t regret joining the paper.

Of course, I kid. I found that column the summer before my first semester while checking out TMH. Really, my journey with the newspaper began during that first semester. I started as a copy editor, moved on to copy chief, made way to assistant online editor and finally pitched a proverbial tent as online editor.

As a computer science major, I often get odd responses when people find out about my journalism minor. Clearly, it must be some side gig or a high school aspiration that’s taking time to die. When people imagine a “coder,” they may think of a bespectacled person sitting in front of a computer screen, confined by the walls of a cubicle.

My experience with The Hurricane and elsewhere, however, has shown me otherwise. Coders are no longer just the people in the back room keeping the website up. They sit side-by-side with reporters, writers and designers to help push journalism forward.

The collaboration among all members of the newsroom has changed how we do news today. Stories are no longer just monoliths of text; they’re newsletters, podcasts, phone applications, videos, photos, graphics and websites. We don’t do these things just to say, “Oh, look at how fancy our website is!” We do these things to make the readers’ experience all the more impactful. Pursuing impactful stories while adopting digital techniques is the new standard of journalism.

The Hurricane has worked to reach this new standard of journalism. We’ve tackled big topics all my years here and tried our hand at podcasts, interactive websites, more photos and video. And, like every other publication in the world, we can surely do more.

It’s been an absolute pleasure working for The Miami Hurricane, and my time with this publication will forever be a cornerstone of my college experience. The people and the work we’ve done makes this a truly great publication. I have complete faith in The Hurricane’s staff to continue doing great work in print and – more importantly – online.


Sherman Hewitt will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in computer science.