Throughout the year, I have learned quite a bit about what it means to be a journalist, if only just a student for the school paper as of now.
It went from simply learning the basics of things like “what is news?” to how one must interview someone for a story, or how to get the paper out. How to skillfully take the truth and make it newsworthy, all while writing it in 500 words or more.
It turned into the beautiful chaos of a room full of bright young people, working their butts off on the next issue. Laying out each page, pitching stories and throwing ideas out into the air. Rushing here and there, yelling across the room, and reading and re-reading for every mistake, for what seems like a million times.
The newsroom became a mess of paper and copy-edit after copy-edit, all while slowly turning these lumps of coal into diamonds. It became a safe-haven, a place of discussion, an assortment of people so different, yet so alike.
Throughout the year, as a team I can definitely say we’ve matured, but not without our spills, cuts and scrapes. Everyday, every story, and every team decision becomes another source of strength for a group of different student journalists willing to work towards a common goal. Every argument opens up cuts we never knew we had, and every agreement shows us maturity we never knew we had in ourselves.
If there is anything I will remember, it may not be what we were writing about, or even when, but the things we did together. The late days, scrambling to edit and finish up all the pages for the next issue, all while eating fast food and cracking jokes. The arguments and make ups that nearly tore the entire team apart, the bonding over a mutual sense of accomplishment, seeing the much anticipated end result come to fruition. Most of all, the awkward yet memorable situations involving the flashing of a press pass and the dragging of ones derrier across the floor to take the perfect pic of the performers at a school play.
Throughout this journey, I didn’t just find the experience worthwhile for the development into a member of a team closely bonded together, but for learning about one’s strengths, weaknesses and flaws.
Taking the criticism and critique and turning it into the next best piece. Turning the low self-esteem into confidence in one’s skill, and recognizing the power that one holds, being one who is regarded as the unbiased messenger in a polarized world. Learning that perhaps the truth may lay in places overlooked, and the most interesting pieces in places unseen and unheard of.
Looking back, I never realized I would change so much by taking on this responsibility, but I’m certainly glad I did. My hope is that when our seniors are gone, that we can step up to the challenge and make things just as amazing if not better.
So my dear ‘colleagues’ with our amalgam of perspectives and personalities, this year is turning out to be wonderful. The memories we made are unforgettable, and the camaraderie we share is unbreakable. I am proud of what we have become from where we came from, and I wish us all the best.