By Ben Portnoy
Naila-Jean Meyers has been elected as APSE’s Second Vice President. Meyers, who currently serves as a senior assistant sports editor at the Star Tribune, was voted in by organization members from a pool of four candidates.
“My focus is almost certainly going to be on the journalists,” Meyers explained. “But I don’t want to forget that one of our main goals is to promote great journalism and produce great journalism. And how can we help our journalists do that?”
Meyers began her career picking up assignments for her hometown paper, the Ames Tribune in Ames, Iowa, following her freshman year at Northwestern, where she wrote for the Daily Northwestern and graduated in 2000.
Meyers began her professional path as an online editor at the Sporting News, following undergraduate internships at the Toledo Blade and Smithsonian Magazine. She later spent slightly under two years at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as a sports copy editor, followed by 15 years at the New York Times. At the Times, Meyers oversaw the paper’s tennis and hockey coverage among a slew of other roles.
Meyers arrived at the Star Tribune in January 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. In Minneapolis, she primarily handles coverage of the Minnesota Vikings and the Olympics in addition to audience engagement. Meyers is also a mentor in APSE’s mentorship program.
A regular at APSE and other varying journalism conferences over her more than two decades in sports journalism, Meyers plans to bring added connectivity among members through online workshops and conferences, given the increasing comfort with video conferencing amid the pandemic.
She also hopes to continue developing resources for journalists and editors of all ages who are working through transitional phases such as new jobs, layoffs and other ebbs and flows of the business.
“I definitely think having more connection virtually, having more panels, having more career development opportunities where you don’t have to pay a lot of money, or travel to a place to do, is important,” Meyers said. “I think you’re going to get a lot more participation.”
With her election, Meyers will become the fifth woman president of APSE three years from now and will serve on the executive board in the interim. Her term begins at the close of the summer conference in Las Vegas in August.
“I just want to meet people and find out what they do and how their organizations are run because it’s interesting to me, but also I think there are people doing the things that we want to be doing,” she explained. “It’s just finding out what those things are and how they’re doing them.”
Ben Portnoy covers South Carolina football for The State in Columbia, S.C. He is Naila-Jean Meyers’ mentee in the APSE mentorship program.