Social Media Manager Named New Executive Editor

By Elise Vandersteen Bailey, Investigative Coordinator

Megan Hulse said journalism is a love she stumbled into. Hulse has been named the next Executive Editor of University of Utah Student Media, making her editor-in-chief over both The Daily Utah Chronicle and Wasatch Magazine. Having loved writing in high school, she began college studying English exclusively.

“Just by chance, I was on a committee with somebody who wrote for The Chronicle, who suggested I start writing for the paper,” Hulse said. She loved it and decided to pursue an education in journalism.

The senior in English and the Journalism sequence of Communication has previously written for The Chronicle’s art desk and has acted as Social Media Manager for Student Media. Hulse currently writes the column “Art from the Attic,” which discusses music from past decades. Some of her most popular pieces are on Queen, the Beatles and the Beach Boys.

Hulse said her favorite story she has written was her first — an article about an interactive photography exhibit called “What I Thought I Saw.” It aimed to challenge first impressions and help the audience resist the urge to stereotype others. The image she found most striking was one of two boys in a broken-down environment. One was administering a shot of some kind to the other. At first impression, the viewer assumed the photograph was depicting illicit drug use. In reality, it was a boy with fetal alcohol syndrome and other health issues receiving a shot to help him continue to function.

Until she spoke with a former Chronicle editor-in-chief, Katherine Ellis, about what the position could teach a person, Hulse hadn’t considered applying. However, after their conversation Hulse felt compelled to apply, believing she could change the paper for the better.

“When I first heard that [Hulse] was in the running for the executive editor position, it made sense,” said Julie Hirschi, current editor-in-chief. “She has always had a passion for journalism and storytelling, from the first day I met her. She is always asking questions of everyone on how to improve the organization and how to move it forward digitally.”

In her new position, Hulse said she will follow in Hirschi’s footsteps and continue pushing The Chronicle into digital journalism.

“We are a little behind, I think, in that aspect,” Hulse said. “That’s where news is going, whether we like it or not.”

Hirschi expressed similar views when she took leadership of the paper one year ago, aiming to propel The Chronicle farther into the digital landscape.

Hulse also plans to improve investigative journalism at The Chronicle and make changes to the organization of the paper in order to streamline the process of publishing.

At Wasatch, Hulse wants to hire a team of visual designers exclusive to the magazine, “so that the magazine can start developing a distinct style and voice.”

When asked about journalists she admires, Hulse said, “I really like Megyn Kelly, [formerly of] Fox News. I don’t really like Fox News, but I like her. She seems to stick to her guns. She sticks to her values no matter what’s going on around her. She tries to keep herself ethical and transparent. Even if I don’t agree with all her views, I think [the way she conducts herself on air] is a really good way to model myself after.”

Hulse will assume her work as the executive editor in May. Hirschi thinks Hulse will “prove to be a strong leader.”

Citing her work with the social media team, Hirschi said, “[They’ve] really been effective this year because of her vision and leadership. She has trained each of the social media interns and we have had a broader presence on different media platforms because of her.”

Hirschi explained that Hulse’s work with the social media team is an important way to predict how Hulse will lead the Chronicle because “a lot of news today is shared and read mostly through social media and she understands that. She has taken her [work] seriously and improved our social media outreach. She would often research what posts were working and which ones were less effective to make improvements. I think she will also do that as a leader of the Chronicle.”

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