The student news site of Henry P. Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford, New Jersey

The Cat's Eye View

The student news site of Henry P. Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford, New Jersey

The Cat's Eye View

The student news site of Henry P. Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford, New Jersey

The Cat's Eye View

An Interview with Alexis Diao: New York Times Senior Editor of “The Daily”

Alexis Diao– curent New York Times senior editor and previous producer for The Washington Post.

“Let your curiosity guide you,” says New York Times senior editor Alexis Diao.

Diao works as a senior editor for “The Daily”, one of the biggest news podcasts in the world. Diao’s responsibilities as an editor include, “hours of writing and rewriting, taping, producing the actual product and several rounds of edits.” 

“You can imagine it’s sort of like captaining a ship: I’m responsible for guiding us where we need to go, and making sure that we have everything that we need to make it,” Diao notes. 

The longest work days are when Diao is on a deadline, “I’m talking about 12 or sometimes 20 hour workdays.” With such a huge listenership of people who rely and trust the show, anything that goes wrong generally would fall on the editor. Because she works as the editor for a show that covers nearly every aspect of the news, she’s required to be at least a little knowledgeable on various different topics. In fact, by the time the 10 a.m. team meetings hit, Diao would have already listened to two or three news shows and read most of the paper. Her job also includes organizing and reorganizing information in order to tell the stories in a compelling, narrative way.

During her career, Diao’s efforts have earned her and her team at the Washington Post a Peabody Award for their work on the George Floyd episodes in 2020. She also won a duPont award for a body of work on the fall of Roe v. Wade. Truthfully, she amusingly reveals that her true goal is “to one day win an eating contest!”

With these long working hours, it’s important to remember that Diao is also a dedicated mother, wife and family-person. She comments on the meaning of the question “how do you manage your time between work and home?” as having changed for her over time. When she began to work at home during the 2020 pandemic, the question changed to, “How do I keep boundaries between work and home when they all blur together?”

With no solid answer, Diao provides rituals that help her:

  • Take a walk, even if you don’t want to, to let your brain and body know that it’s time to shift from work to home.
  • Have a separate space dedicated for work.
  • Don’t answer messages past 6 P.M. unless absolutely necessary.

During the weekends, Diao takes time with her children seriously. She plans time with them as a family and even with her individual kids. “Even if I’m really busy and short on time, I create time for us.”

As a child, Diao enjoyed reading and writing. “I like talking to people and learning about the world,” she states. “At a certain point in my life, I realized that I really liked music and the radio. I combined the two interests and here I am.”

To aspiring journalists, Diao says, “The best advice I have is to just go for it.” When just getting started, she recommends finding someone that does something you think is cool and ask them how they got there. Talking to people, especially those you don’t understand, and working hard to become a good listener are all key to becoming a successful journalist. 

“Journalism is a trade,” Diao expresses. “It’s something you learn over time with hard work and repetition, so there is bound to be some trial and error when you’re getting started.”

We would like to thank Alexis Diao for her time and inspiration to the young, aspiring journalists of the present, and future, Cat’s Eye View team!

Learn more about Lexie Diao HERE!

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About the Contributor
Ariel Konopka
Ariel Konopka, Staff Writer
Senior Ariel Konopka joins The Cat's Eye View with a warm welcome! We are thrilled to have Konopka, a fantastic senior from Becton Regional High School, on board. While she may not currently be involved in any clubs, her past involvement speaks volumes. As a freshman, she contributed her passion to the Environmental Club, and in her junior year, she dazzled us all as a member of the Digital Arts Club. For now, she focuses on running her art business by making personal commission pieces that she promotes through Instagram. Konopka has a passion for drawing and dedicates her free time to this creative pursuit. Specifically, she enjoys drawing anime-style characters and exploring the world of anime art. Whether it is on paper or digitally, she expresses her artistic talents through this captivating medium. With a dedicated practice of over six years, she has honed her skills and continues to immerse herself in drawing. It is not uncommon to find Konopka engrossed in her artwork, as she once said, “Maintaining a good work ethic and not procrastinating will make life a lot easier.”  After high school, Ariel plans to attend college for character design. She is interested in Boston University or Parsons School of Design but is open to visiting other colleges. For her contribution to the CEV, she can contribute by potentially making video packages for it, or by using skills from Becton's TV & Comm. class-- which she was involved in last year! Konopka brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to our team, and we cannot wait to see what she accomplishes next!