Two years ago at this time, I had recently applied for and been given the job of staff writer for The Aviso. I was both excited and apprehensive about joining the staff—I had only just switched to journalism as a major a matter of weeks before. We had a meeting to get to know the staff for the coming year. I remember walking into the room and being greeted by people I didn’t even know.
Now, I’m ready to end my time at Malone. The Aviso ended up playing a big role in my experience here, I guess you could say. I never imagined I would be editor-in-chief, and yet here I am, ready to hand over the reigns to next year’s editor. The cycle will begin again.
This farewell article is usually the place where a student editor celebrates a publication’s achievements during the previous year. Being an editor, I can’t resist doing so here. While it hasn’t been a walk in the park by any means, we’ve had our fair share of triumphs. We continued the transition from print to web that was begun by last year’s staff. This year saw us completely overhaul the design of the site, get a new student-designed logo, and launch several promotional campaigns that expanded our audience on campus.
We also took home some awards that are worth mentioning. Whether it was February’s Best Collegiate Newspaper Website award from the Ohio Newspaper Association or the more recent news that The Aviso was named a finalist for the Associated Collegiate Press’s Online Pacemaker award, we brought home some accolades that were both surprising and encouraging. As a staff, these awards were helpful in affirming what we do as a publication. All the hard work can sometimes be overwhelming, so it always feels good to get some recognition every once in a while.
As cliché as it may sound, though, the awards and the progress we’ve made as a publication aren’t what I’m most sad to leave behind. Don’t get me wrong—I’m glad this year’s staff has built a legacy for future staffs to follow, and it’s something we should all be proud of. But when I think about what I’ll really miss about this when I get older—heck, what I’m already starting to miss—the people are all that comes to mind.
I’ve been absolutely blessed to work with a staff of young men and women who are talented, easygoing, and ultimately a joy to spend time with. As editor, you get to know people in ways you don’t as a writer. Sometimes it seemed like I called the entire staff on Monday nights before we published just to make sure the issue went up without a hitch. Although that can be stressful, it also gave me a chance to interact with a wonderful group of people.
We worked together, we laughed together, and ultimately we became much more than just a group of freelancers who got together on Tuesday nights and hashed out stories. Whether it was the meetings that seemed to last forever (which was my fault), the hours spent chatting in the newsroom, or the stories that made us pull our hair out, we came together not only as a staff, but in many cases as friends.
I also got the chance to work with our faculty advisor, Dr. David Dixon. In addition to teaching a full load of classes, Dr. Dixon never hesitated to take time to answer questions we had and help us think through important decisions. He and I must have e-mailed each other four or five times a day about Aviso-related matters. Over the course of the past year, I came to know Dr. Dixon as more than a professor, but as a mentor. His journalistic insight, patience and humility served as both a resource I could rely on and an example for me to follow. I can safely say we wouldn’t be where we are as a publication if not for his advice and guidance.
I’ve spent more time with this group of people than I have with anyone else at Malone. It was an honor to work alongside them, and they completely deserve all the accolades we’ve won this year. Unfortunately I can’t thank the entire staff individually, but each person played their own part in making The Aviso what it has been. It was their effort, their personality, their camaraderie that defines The Aviso in my memory. Without them, my job would have been just that—a job.
I wish next year’s staff the best of luck. Sam Shaffer will be taking over the helm as editor-in-chief. Both she and the staff that has been assembled are more than capable of continuing the work we’ve done this year. They’ll face the same challenges this year’s staff faced, but by the end, I’m confident Sam and her fellow staffers will have written another great chapter in the history of The Aviso.
I’m not going to lie: Publishing a newspaper each week is stressful. There were certainly nights when I was frustrated, nights when I wondered what I had gotten myself into. But when I look back, those moments pale in comparison to the weeks and months I spent with a tremendous group of people. And I know that when I look back at this experience we call college ten years from now, that group of people will be the one thing I remember, the one thing that made all the work truly worthwhile.
At the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade it for a thing.
Categories: Reporters' Blog