Medill sophomore Avani Kalra named The Daily’s next editor in chief

Joanna Hou, Campus Editor

Avani Kalra was named the next editor in chief of The Daily Northwestern, the paper’s publisher announced Wednesday night. 

Kalra, a Medill sophomore, is currently a print managing editor for The Daily. She has previously served as city editor and audience engagement editor. 

Last summer, Kalra was a news reporting intern at the Wisconsin State Journal. She has also interned for Midstory, contributed to the Chicago Documenters program with City Bureau and worked as the interviews editor for Another Chicago Magazine. 

Kalra will assume the position for Fall Quarter 2023 and Winter Quarter 2024. She will succeed Medill junior Alex Perry, who has been editor in chief for Winter and Spring Quarter 2023. 

During her term as editor in chief, Kalra said, she looks forward to strengthening The Daily’s investigative work, developing desk-based newsletters and creating a positive newsroom environment. 

“I hope to create a culture in the newsroom where everybody uplifts and supports each other,” Kalra said. “I am focused on creating a space where everyone is comfortable with relying on one another and excited to work together.” 

Chair of Students Publishing Co. John Byrne said the board was “thoroughly impressed” with Kalra’s qualifications. 

“She had some innovative ideas on further using technology to engage readers and enhance editorial quality,” Byrne said. “We are excited for her tenure starting this fall.”

Kalra was involved in creating an app version of her high school newspaper and hopes to launch a similar product for The Daily. 

She hopes to improve The Daily’s audience engagement team, expand its reach on social media and recruit staff members from all six of NU’s undergraduate schools. 

“Medill students are integral in The Daily’s production, but I have seen so much talent from people who have come to this paper with other backgrounds in design, web development and marketing,” Kalra said. “I hope to make The Daily a more welcoming space for students around campus.” 

Perry said she is excited to pass the torch to Kalra, whom she met at the Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute program, commonly known as Medill Cherubs, in 2019. 

“Avani’s approach to journalism is incredibly thoughtful, and that’s reflected in the work I’ve seen her achieve,” Perry said. “Something that stuck with me about her is her ability to authentically care for people and the work they do.”

Kalra said she aspires to be a resource for younger staffers and create a culture where people feel respected and heard. 

“The Daily can be a stressful environment to balance with classes, other extracurriculars and college life,” Kalra said. “I hope staffers will feel comfortable coming forward with their needs, and I look forward to providing that support.” 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @joannah_11