Funschelle Feels Fulfillment In Journalism Industry

Maize South grad Aliyah Funschelle continues to grow her identity and brand as her career takes off as a sports reporter and familiar face in the Wichita journalism scene at just 22 years old.

Video courtesy of Sports With Aliyah

During+quarantine%2C+Funschelle+has+turned+to+social+media+to+really+engage+with+her+audience.+She+uses+instagram%2C+and+Tik+Tok.+%22I+use+my+social+media+in+a+very+positive+and+engaging+way.+I+like+to+post+fun%2C+uplifting+content+that+makes+people+laugh%2C+feel+happy%2C+or+inspired.+I+always+try+to+stay+as+authentic+as+possible%2C+and+I+think+that+really+shines+through%2C%22+Funschelle+said.

Photo courtesy of Aliyah Funschelle

During quarantine, Funschelle has turned to social media to really engage with her audience. She uses instagram, and Tik Tok. “I use my social media in a very positive and engaging way. I like to post fun, uplifting content that makes people laugh, feel happy, or inspired. I always try to stay as authentic as possible, and I think that really shines through,” Funschelle said.

Piper Pinnetti, Editor-In-Chief

What if I told you after high school that 2016 Maize South graduate Aliyah Funschelle went off to build her own brand in the journalism industry, started her own talk show,  met multiple professional athletes and is virtually getting her Masters degree in Sports Management at Columbia University at the same time you read this article?

Funschelle’s journalism journey actually began in middle school during the seventh grade in yearbook and broadcasting, where she was given a leadership position as the sports and activities director.

Fast forward to high school where Funschelle is a sophomore in Shelly Walston’s class for the Bullseye newsmagazine team. Soon after the year started, Funchelle would be named the Editor-In-Chief of the publication in just her second year in the school.

“I couldn’t believe I was trusted with a position that big as just a sophomore, so I really credit Ms. Walston for believing in me before I even saw that potential within myself,” Funschelle said.

From there, she discovered a new side of the world of journalism. Being a part of the staff brought tons of new experiences, new friends, and important skills she was able to bring with her post high school.

“I loved the creative freedom we were given. Bullseye felt like it was truly ours, not just something we helped a teacher out with. It was so fun and we really became a family,” Funschelle said. “I learned the true way to carry yourself as a journalist. Not only how to conduct interviews, but how to portray the information in the correct way along with still being creative and entertaining.

Funschelle graduated from Maize South High in 2016 and attended Wichita State University where she majored in Sports Management and minored in Communication. There she received her Bachelor’s degree and even became a member of the Tri Delta sorority. She began working on the campus newspaper, The Sunflower, for her first two years of college, and eventually became the Wichita State Men’s basketball beat reporter.

After a few years of reporting and running back and forth with the basketball team outside of the boundary lines, Funschelle realized she could take a step further with her career. Her junior year of college, she decided to start the “Sports With Aliyah” show to build her name in the journalism community.

“I had built up a great following with my reporting and I figured that my readers would read my articles and watch my videos regardless of which publication it came from, so why not start my own brand and build it up that way? I’ve been so thankful for the amount of support that has come from it,” said Funschelle.

Sports With Aliyah is where the sports reporter, talk show host, and multimedia content creator allows herself to tap into every aspect of the sports journalism industry. Her website holds countless in-depth interviews with athletes and even includes a new segment, “Empower Women in Sports Wednesday.”

Although Funschelle is quickly growing her brand and gaining respect in the journalism industry, she knows that the hardest part of building her name as a reporter is “getting not only your name known, but what type of content your audience can expect from you,” Funschelle said. “The hardest thing, but also the key to finding success, is being consistent. You have to be consistent with the amount you post, when you post it, and what your content is about.”

However, with the second wave of COVID-19 and another shut down imminent among multiple states, sports games are being played with no fans in the stands and exclusively available on television and through live broadcasts.

This has significantly disrupted Funchelle’s routine of attending and reporting on the local Wichita sports team.

“Unfortunately I haven’t been able to attend many live sporting events, so my content is really lacking from that, but I’ve done other things such as Zoom interviews and Instagram lives to keep my viewers connected!”

Despite being in a rough year for her journalism career to flourish, Funschelle is staying as positive as possible and looking forward to a time when everything is back to normal. Currently, she is just starting her Masters degree (virtually) at Colombia University in a Sports Management major to get to where she needs to be to achieve her goals and acquire her dream job before even turning 30.

“My dream job would be to host a show on a major network and interview athletes, but for more short-term I would love to work for a team and get more involved in the social media and digital content side of it,” said Funchelle.

Through the hardships of 2020 and all of the sports lessons she’s learned from her mentors and peers in the local Wichita sports scene, Funchelle knows her dedication to the craft of sports journalism will pay off in the long run.

“Be persistent. All of your hard work will pay off. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t or that you’re not good enough. Always take the high road and be the better person and stay true to who you are.”