Stories by

Shala Murray

By Tomas Navia

Shala Murray, 20, was born into a sports family made up mostly of women. She has pursued her passion for sports throughout her education, playing basketball in grade school and finding a love for hurdling by participating in track in high school.

Over the last three years at Spelman College — an all-female, historically black college in Atlanta — Shala has shifted from partaking in sports to reporting on them.

“That’s something I really want to dive into with journalism — giving women a voice in the sports industry,” she said.

Shala, an English major, is entering her senior year at Spelman as the co-editor in chief of The BluePrint, the college’s student-run newspaper. She is also the sports executive producer for a digital media platform at Morehouse College. At Morehouse, Shala has dug into production, from filming to video editing.

Now, she is attending The New York Times Student Journalism Institute to gain more skills so that she can represent women and minorities in sports reporting. She said she was ecstatic when she found out she was chosen for the program.

“I’m really excited to continue to grow as a journalist and to go back and create better stories for my school and community through my work ,” Shala said.

Shala said her goal is to become an executive producer one day, and she is taking steps to get there. After the Institute, she will be a production intern at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn.

“Being a producer and being a woman and being in the sports industry — you’re going to be uncomfortable,” Shala said. “That excites me because I know it’s going to help me grow as a person.”

Photo by Jason Armond/NYT Institute

The Tony-award winning director Kenny Leon adapted the Shakespeare comedy “Much Ado About Nothing” with an all-black cast and a modern setting for a production in Central Park. The director’s partner in reimagining the play was a Columbia professor who “eats and sleeps and drinks Shakespeare.”