My last editorial as Editor-in-Chief could not have come about on a more perfect day– #SaveStudentNewsrooms day. This is a day where colleges across the United States are coming together to give each other a voice and support. We at the Arka Tech support all journalism and believe that this is a necessary profession to keep everyone in our community fair and honest, including ourselves.
Student journalism is where people who wish to pursue higher education come together to report as unbiased as they can the going-ons of their campus and community. This is where they learn what true journalism is, where they learn to make mistakes so they don’t continue to make them and where they have professionals at their side to mentor and guide them.
If we don’t save student newsrooms, we agree to let ourselves be blind to the workings of every entity in our city. Future lawyers, politicians and, of course, journalists have come out of newsrooms I have been a part of. Journalism inspires students to learn about their government, their laws, to speak up about injustices, to look at things from more than one side and then to let it go for the people to make up their minds.
Journalists have to be professionals in everything. We have to know about, or research, any and every topic we cover, where better to learn that than in a student newsroom. Saving students newsrooms not only saves dedicated journalists but also saves every bill, law, community photo, food review and anything else going on in the community that we get involved in (we can’t get involved unless you let us know about your event, communicate with us so we can work with you).
Being in a student newsroom for 6 years (4 as an undergrad and 2 as a grad student) has made me feel a part of something bigger and more important than myself. Normally editorials are done as a voice of the whole staff but since it is my last day I took it over and left no room for argument.
I wanted to say my farewells but I also wanted to give my newsroom a voice in this movement. We believe in student journalism, we believe in our community and we believe in our future.
The future of Arkansas Tech University’s journalists and student newsroom will be in excellent hands thanks to Tommy Mumert, our newspaper adviser. He is always open to new ideas, he lets us fail so we can learn from our mistakes (and helps us fix them too), and he has always been a person I trust and value at Arkansas Tech University. He encourages us to be the best we can, to strive for our goals and to talk about the topics important to this campus. He has a sneaky but infectious sense of humor that has brightened many days. He will be missed even though I will still call him a million times in my professional life.
To all the staff at The Arka Tech, I am inspired to see what this team will accomplish. They have already proven themselves through out our campus and at numerous award events. They have shown their dedication to the craft and if this is the future of student newsrooms… world watch out. I will miss you all but can’t wait until I can say “I knew you when” because I believe you all have that greatness inside of you.
And the last person I need to say farewell to but who also gives me hope in the future of student journalism is my partner in crime, my co-editor-in-chief, Amber Appleby. Without her I would have driven my newsroom crazy. She kept us focused and on task while being encouraging. She helped balance my zealousness for the newsroom with her down-to-earth newsroom (not to say she didn’t have crazy moments but she really is the more sane of the two of us). As she takes on the role of Editor-in-chief by herself I am confident that she will continue to make The Arka Tech staff the best journalists ever (but I am biased a wee bit) and help keep student newsrooms strong.
So to those of you who don’t have newsrooms to lean on, you should but that’s another discussion, go find your group and thrive. To those who are in the newsroom, keep doing what you’re doing because the world needs us. And to all of you– #SaveStudentNewsrooms.