Sometimes our job happens to match up with our talents. For Nubian Message Editor-in-Chief Elikem Dodor, a third-year studying science, technology and society, there was no lack of the talents required for her to fill the role of her job.
Dodor had an early connection to Nubian Message because a previous editor-in-chief went to high school with her sister. It was then when she was introduced to the world of Nubian Message and knew she wanted to work at the publication.
Similar to her managing editor, Ugonna Ezuma-Igwe, Dodor began as a layout designer, putting together the structure, designs and framework of the pages that Nubian Message published. She later expanded and diversified her interests and began to show her talents in other areas, eventually working her way up to editor-in-chief.
“I started off as a layout designer,” Dodor said. “I became a staff writer. I became a photographer. I became a social media manager. I was doing all the aspects of being editor-in-chief.”
Dodor said this experience in different areas around the publication allows her to be a better editor-in-chief and do more for the publication as a whole.
“Being editor-in-chief of Nubian Message means filling in the gaps,” Dodor said. “While I do have a staff, if I notice that something is lacking, I have the capabilities to fill in those blanks. I’m always seeing what we need.”
Dodor said Nubian Message’s already small staff requires her to “go behind the role” of what an editor-in-chief would normally do, like checking in with section editors, being a bridge between the public and the paper and focusing on the business side of the paper, but that has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic and the staff decrease that resulted from it. However, Dodor said she’s willing to do all of this because she wants Nubian Message to succeed and flourish, as it is embedded into the fabric of campus.
“I feel like Nubian is giving the voice to the unheard,” Dodor said. “Because a majority of our staff is minorities or of marginalized communities, we have that viewpoint of looking into things, and we seek out stories and look at things in a different way. We’re more than just a newspaper. We’re the confidant to help you figure things out and ask questions that haven’t been answered on a university level.”
Furthermore, Dodor feels like the events of this summer — with the effects of COVID-19, the nationwide protests against police brutality and the University’s response to these — has shed a light on Nubian Message and allowed it to take a more active role in the conversations being held within the University.
“We started off with summer coverage, which Nubian has never done before,” Dodor said. “Especially with our meeting with the chancellor, our summer work really opened doors for us to allow us to be part of committees and getting us updates from the University that we haven’t had before.”
According to Dodor, the staff reduction and remote work that has come out of the pandemic may change the way Nubian Message could run in the future.
“Working remotely is a whole different thing, but I think it’s pushing us toward the future and being more efficient,” Dodor said. “I don’t think we’re ever going to go back to having more than two people in the office at a time because you realize a lot of the work is done remotely.”
While the hours and amount of time that she and her staff put in may not be ideal, Dodor said she is grateful for those hours because they have allowed her to build friendships and relationships that keep her returning to Nubian Message.
“It pushes me to know that there are people out there who have my back,” Dodor said.
Looking to the future, Dodor would like Nubian Message to be able to experiment more with what it publishes. She wants to see an expansion into less “hard-hitting news” and recently started a series called Elikem’s Corner, where she publishes poems.
Learning about Dodor, it’s not shocking that she can also write poetry. Dodor excels in many areas, and that is evident in the work that she does.
“I consider myself a multifaceted individual,” Dodor said. “I dance. I write poems. I like to read. I do yoga. I do hair. I do a lot of different things. I’m interested in science, finance and law. I have many layers.”
For more information about Nubian Message, visit the publication’s website.