A three-year New Mexico Daily Lobo veteran and current managing editor is ready to take the helm as editor in chief.
After involving herself in almost every other job the Lobo has to offer, Iliana Lim¢n was selected editor in chief by the Student Publications Board by an almost unanimous vote of 8-0-1, with only Associated Students of UNM board member Sen. Steve Aguilar abstaining. She and the rest of next year’s staff members will take over Sunday.
“I saw it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” she said.
Lim¢n, a junior double majoring in journalism and Spanish, said that even though she’s worked at the Lobo for three years, she feels she still has more to offer the paper. She has several long-term goals, including broadening the newspaper’s coverage by working to expand the pool of reporters.
She said she had intended to leave the newspaper at the end of the semester because she felt other staff members deserved the same chance she had to serve in a leadership role, but she changed her mind because she thought she could make a significant, long-term impact on the newspaper.
“I think the truest and best evaluation will be how well the next year’s staff does after I leave,” Lim¢n said.
Lim¢n, who came to UNM in 1998 from El Paso, Texas, and became a staff reporter for the Lobo, has held the job of news editor from the fall of 1999 to the fall of 2000. In addition to her experience with the Daily Lobo, she interned at the Albuquerque Journal metro desk in the summer of 2000 and participated in the German Junior Journalists Program the same year.
Last year she won the Scripps Howard Foundation Top Ten Scholars $10,000 scholarship, Albuquerque Journal C.T. Lang Publisher’s Journalism Scholarship and the Daily Lobo Reporter of the Year award.
UNM professor emeritus Hank Trewhitt, who is also the Daily Lobo’s writing coach, said Lim¢n has the instincts, courage, a clear sense of what is and isn’t news and a willingness to do what is necessary, even when it makes her unpopular on campus, which are needed to make a good editor.
“I have not seen her make a significant error of judgment in the two years-plus that I’ve watched her work,” he said.
Trewhitt said he has seen Lim¢n’s hand in the Lobo for at least a year and he thinks all she needs is to simply continue what she’s been doing to keep the paper on track.
As for the future, Trewhitt said her ability, talents and qualities could take her anywhere.
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“I think her potential is limitless,” he said.
Current Editor in Chief James Barron said he feels Lim¢n will do an outstanding job as editor when he leaves because of her experience.
“She has helped me a great deal with many of the issues concerning the day-to-day operations of this newspaper,” he said. “She has extensive knowledge and background in almost every area concerning this paper. She may be overqualified for this job because she knows so much, but it’s a great asset.”
Lim¢n said her position as editor has been made easier because Barron worked hard to take relatively young employees and mold them into a strong staff. She said it will help make her transition easier.
“We are in a very good position,” Lim¢n said. “We’re one of the top 25 college newspapers in country, but there’s always room for improvement.”
She encourages people to take advantage of the fact that UNM has a strong independent paper and see it as an open forum, because a paper is only as strong as its readers.