At a time when newspaper staffs are shrinking and print media is melding with new online media, rather than being dissuaded from a career in journalism, Meinke became even more determined.
“I was always taught that you should work hard and go after what you truly want in life, so I have,” said Meinke, a 2004 graduate of Kent City High School who is the first in his family to attend college. He graduated from Grand Valley’s School of Communications as a journalism major in December 2008 and now works at The Grand Rapids Press as a sports writer and copy editor.
While at Grand Valley, Meinke worked at the student newspaper, The Lanthorn, first as a staff writer, then as news editor, until taking a clerk position in the Sports Department at the Press.
“While still a student, I started out as a clerk, working 20-25 hours a week handling phones and box scores, among other things,” said Meinke. “I was hoping to get an opportunity to also do some writing, and now I have. I feel very fortunate as a recent graduate not only to be employed in this economy, but to work in a job doing what I truly love.”
It probably didn’t hurt that his student writing earned several industry awards. A story he wrote about student housing garnered first prize for news writing from the Detroit Press Club Foundation. The same story took third place in the 2008 Michigan Press Association awards.
“Kyle has been a wonderful addition to our sports staff; he knows sports, is a good writer and is knowledgeable in many facets,” said Sports Editor Mary Ullmer. “We’ve had him do live blogs in addition to published stories. I’ve told him on more than one occasion: ‘You’re our future.’ I’m just glad our future is in the hands of someone so capable.”