Correction 5/10/22: In a previous version of this article, it was reported that Gleason will be receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in music. This has been updated to show that Gleason will be graduating with a Bachelor of Music in performance.
After four intense years with the Daily Lobo, Megan Gleason is ready to move on from student journalism and step out into the world of professional journalism. Having served as a freelance and beat reporter, culture editor, news editor and editor-in-chief, Gleason is counting down the days until her graduation, when she will receive her Bachelor of Music in performance.
Gleason began as a freelance reporter after a distasteful hiring process for the Lobo and “never would have guessed” she’d move up the ladder so quickly.
“I initially decided I didn’t want to work at the Daily Lobo,” Gleason said. “But my sophomore year … I started writing like three stories a week really quickly and I think I was promoted to beat reporter, like, probably within a month of when I actually started working there … I probably became active maybe a month or two before (the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,) so COVID has been nearly entirely what I know of the Lobo. I knew just a little before that.”
Her partner Jake Nowlin has been by her side for more than three years, witnessing a great deal of her journalistic work and development.
“Megan is massively work-oriented; she’s just very determined ... She puts herself into these jobs where it stresses her out, but that’s where she gets her best work done … I don’t think we’re able to sit through a movie without her having to talk to someone or make a call or finish some sort of paper and I think it’s great, she’s really dedicated," Nowlin said.
A self-proclaimed “über-perfectionist,” Gleason is anticipating graduating with a GPA above 4.0. This is, considering that Gleason put the paper before her schoolwork, a feat not to be forgotten.
“When you become an editor, your priorities shift. Suddenly paper is No. 1 and school is No. 2,” Gleason said.
Within weeks of her retirement from the Daily Lobo and her graduation from UNM, Gleason is set to begin reporting professionally, covering environmental and behavioral health beats.
“I’m so excited for the newsroom I’m going to,” Gleason said. “It’s actually my first choice for a newsroom, and I think the reporting is just kick-ass.”
Gleason’s intense attention to detail and innate perfectionism kept the Daily Lobo running smoothly throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Though Nowlin’s values don’t always align with hers — especially academically — he’s in awe of her devotion and skill.
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“I’ve seen her very upset about getting a B and to me that’s ridiculous but … I think she’s just a hard worker and she really believes in what she’s doing. She’s passionate about her work,” Nowlin said. “She complains about the workload but, in reality, she’s in love with just every aspect of the paper, the news and her music; it’s inspiring.”
Though her time reporting and editing for the Lobo has come to its end, Gleason doesn’t anticipate losing interest in the vast scope of student journalism.
“Student publications just sucked me in and I haven’t been able to get out. I don’t think I ever will,” said Gleason.
Natalie Jude is the culture editor for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached on Twitter @nataloroni or at email@example.com