Q & A with The Morningside Post’s EIC

After a short break, SIPA’s student-run newspaper The Morningside Post (TMP) was restarted last Fall in a new and revamped fashion. Foreign Affairs columnist Mohamed Zeeshan, MIA 2018, sat down for a chat with Conor McCormick-Cavanagh, the newspaper’s current Editor-in-Chief, for a sneak peek into what the newspaper does, and what its aims and visions are.

So what exactly is the guiding vision behind The Morningside Post?
The guiding vision of TMP is to provide a medium for SIPA students to voice their thoughts, feelings, concerns and analysis. TMP stays as neutral as possible and publishes a range of different thoughtful submissions.

What kind of topics does TMP cover?
TMP focuses on SIPA issues, on-campus news, human interest stories, world news, opinions, and the SIPA classroom experience. Some of my favorite pieces this past semester were the human interest stories about SIPA students who come from low-income backgrounds. They spoke about the obstacles they overcame in their paths to the Ivy League. I thought that was the sort of journalism that really captured the essence of what SIPA is all about.

I also have appreciated pieces which focus on specific countries or specific leaders. I learned a lot about Eritrea, which I knew very little about before.

What are some of your favorite articles from last semester?
The post we ran about the obstacles people overcame on their paths to the Ivy League was a huge hit. Similarly, we had articles that touched upon the situation in Gaza and the debate over secularism in France and looked at these important issues through a different lens. Another article that I personally enjoyed was the story on the President of Tanzania – not a topic that really dominates mainstream journalism in this part of the world, but a fascinating story nonetheless. It’s the kind of writing that we are looking to encourage.

What role do you think journalism, which TMP brings to SIPA, plays in a policy school?
Journalism plays a large role in a public policy school like SIPA. Student government provides the physical, in-person representation. TMP provides the pen and paper version. Nothing is more powerful than the written word and as future policymakers, we ought to get familiar with the significance of journalism.

Right now is both the best and worst time to be a journalist. Governments are cracking down on press freedoms and stifling free speech throughout the world. At the same time, we are living in a fascinating time and there is so much to write about and comment on.

Do you have any ideas or plans for the coming semester and year that you want to share with incoming students?
This semester, we are adding a team of cartoonists to produce satire. We also hope to continue expanding our video production, so that we are covering more issues around campus and in the New York City area.

As the Editor-in-Chief of TMP, what message would you like to convey to students just coming into SIPA?
For aspiring journalists or writers, The Morningside Post is the best way to get one’s feet wet or continue honing his/her craft. Writers and content producers of all levels are encouraged to join and become a part of the TMP family.

How can students get involved with TMP?
All students need to do to get involved is to email a writing sample to tmpsipasubmissions@gmail.com with a few paragraphs saying why they are interested. We encourage a diversity of perspectives in order to help readers think about the world in different ways, so I strongly encourage people to use this platform to air their opinions and views freely.