Hampton University

student spotlight

Keisha Ralliford:
Editor-in-Chief ,The Hampton Script

Keisha Ralliford

In February, Keisha Ralliford, editor-in-chief of The Hampton Script, and eight other staff members attended the BCCA National HBCU Newspaper Conference. They returned with three awards: first place for Best Sports Coverage, second place for Best Editorial Cartoon and third place for Best Opinions Section.

The Student Connection caught up with Keisha to ask about her role as editor-in-chief with the student newspaper and the significance of winning such awards.

As editor-in-chief, what are your responsibilities?
As editor-in-chief, I am responsible for overseeing all sections of the product - the business, the advertising, the editorials. The editor makes sure that every aspect runs effectively so that the product remains something that Hamptonians want to see on their campus.

What has been the most exciting thing about being editor?
The most exciting thing is seeing up-and-coming student editors and staff writers who have aspirations to move up the ladder, improve themselves. It’s kind of like you are a role model and a mentor to help them reach the goals that they need. It’s also neat to see your section editors act as mentors to their staff writers.

What advice do you have for an aspiring editor-in-chief?
Well, it’s definitely important to start early; you have to know the basics of being a section editor or a staff writer. It’s important to start at the ground up so that you understand how it all works and how to get the job done appropriately.

What should someone do if they are interested in writing for The Script?
Usually people see us in the hallways and we make sure that our faces are in the paper so people begin to know who we are on campus. So, people really just come up to us and ask what’s next. They come to our weekly Monday meetings, pick a section and they’re off from there.

How important is it for HU be recognized with awards at the BCCA Conference?
As with any editor-in-chief before me, when you are managing something, it excites you to know you’re getting recognized for it. Even if it’s something as small as copy editing, it lets you know you’ve put your hard work into it and it’s paid off in a positive way. Also, you get publically recognized in front of all of the other newspapers. You’re not necessarily competing with them, but it lets you know that you did your job.

What are you going to miss the most about HU after graduation?
I’m going to miss the Hampton culture, especially the student leadership aspect of it. I’ve been involved in SGA, The Script, class officers … and we have a very distinct culture that you’re not going to find everywhere. I’m going to grad school at the University of Houston and it’s going to be a little bit different.

-- Alison L. Phillips