Christy Khoshaba has hit the big time – journalistically speaking.
The 2011 Human Communication major has gone from CSU Monterey Bay’s student newspaper, the Otter Realm, to The New York Times – and done so in just over a year.
As part of her master’s program at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, she enrolled in Digital TV and The World, a hands-on course where students learn the basics of video production.
“We learn about a diaspora community in the Bay Area as we learn video skills,” she said. “Then we visit the country of that community for a month.
“This year, it was the Chinese community in the Bay Area, and China in the summer.”
During the spring semester, Khoshaba produced six short videos on Chinese-Americans. In late May, she and three classmates traveled to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province. There, each student produced one video.
“Mine is called ‘The Exam.’ Before I left, my professor worked out an agreement with The New York Times video department” to use the work, she said.
“The Exam” tells the story of the high-stakes entrance test all Chinese students must take in order to attend college. Nine million students took the most recent exam; their college acceptance is based entirely on the results.
Once the video was completed, the Times’ Beijing correspondent, Edward Wong, wrote an accompanying story for the print and web editions of the paper.
“I gave him my notes and information about the people in my video and he used some of my reporting in his story. That’s how I became a ‘contributing reporter’,” she said.
Khoshaba’s video was displayed prominently on the Times website on June 30 and July 1. The accompanying article appeared in the print edition on July 1.
She returned to the U.S. in late June and is spending the rest of the summer in Los Angeles, interning in the fashion and entertainment section of Newsweek/The Daily Beast.
She’ll return to Berkeley in August to complete her master’s degree. Then . . . who knows.
“My career goal is to be a respected journalist who informs and educates.” And that could take her in many directions.
She wants to be an international reporter in the Middle East, perhaps writing for The Economist, Time or The New York Times. “I speak Arabic, so I think that will help tremendously,” she said.
“I’m also interested in fashion, so it would be great to write for magazines like Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar or Vogue. And, I’m interested in hosting an entertainment program like Showbiz Tonight or E News.”
She credits her degree from CSUMB for giving her a solid foundation for the work she’s doing now. “My HCom major integrated topics such as journalism, gender studies, media studies, law, literature, philosophy and creative writing. I enjoyed my classes and the professors who taught them.
“HCom will always have a place in my heart.”