Senior Column | The Daily Iowan is the newsroom that built me

The people I’ve worked with at the Daily Iowan have forever changed my life.


Ally Pronina, Opinions Columnist

The House that Built Me by Miranda Lambert came on during a Sunday in October as I was leaving a pitch meeting in the Daily Iowan newsroom, thinking about how there were fewer and fewer days remaining in the place that built me.

The DI has blessed me with people who see my ability to become a great mom, who see a good heart behind the infertile young woman with a congenital heart defect. Thanks to the most supportive editors, colleagues, and coaches anyone could ever ask for, I felt comfortable talking about personal topics, like Turner syndrome and my faith.

I’ve realized the fact that I would rather interview someone in a wheelchair than an athlete or a politician is not my biggest weakness, like I used to believe when starting journalism school. It is my biggest strength.

Reflecting on what to say to the newsroom full of people who have been my second family for over two years, thank you doesn’t seem to be enough. It’s not enough for those who have always seen nothing but the best in you and your writing, even when you haven’t seen it yourself. Yet, I’ll say it anyway.

Thank you to former DI editors Sarah, Cesar, and Zandra for creating the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee, one of my biggest support systems and memorable parts of being on staff. Day, thanks for all the work you have already achieved as the new DEI director. I’m going to miss our pre-meeting conversations when we were the only ones who got to the conference room early.

Hailey, thanks for always being there whenever I need a deep conversation and doing an interview for my final the morning, I asked you. You somehow always seem to know what I need to hear.

Kelsey, thank you for reading my profile for class because I struggle writing anything journalistic which is not an opinion piece. Josie, thank you for listening to me talk about how I miss my clients and how much I am going to miss the DI.

Julia, thanks for sharing your story about living with Bipolar disorder and sending me a slack message about how much you love my columns. I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined receiving these messages from the former DI’s politics editor.

I’m going to miss the opinions team, or the professional unprofessionals as we call ourselves, full of kind-hearted columnists who made me laugh so hard during meetings by talking about SpongeBob and through our other goofy antics. Sometimes, I ended up forgetting my pitch because of all the fun we had.

Thank you to Jennifer Wagner and Caleb for looking over my personal statement — and shoutout to Caleb for killing spiders in the newsroom.

Last, but not least, Hannah. Thank you for also looking over my personal statement and always being there whenever I or anyone else on the opinions team needs anything, even when hospitalized. We are so lucky to have such a dedicated, hard-working, caring, and passionate leader.

In all my excitement to have a break from school and leave Iowa City, there is also a sadness at the thought of no more Sundays in the newsroom, Community Chats, and DEI meetings.

I’m not ready to leave the publication which has changed me in the best possible way and will forever have a special place in my heart. DI family, I miss you already. Thank you for making the DI newsroom the newsroom that built me.


Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.