It has been almost two years since I started my position as Editor-in-Chief of The Western Carolinian. There have been bad times mixed with really good times. There have been errors and solutions. It has been a crazy ride building this publication back to the success it used to be, and we still have a long journey ahead of us, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
The daily life of the Editor-in-Chief consists of many things. You feel as if your organization skills are at an all-time high and then you realize that one detail was missed and everything has to be changed. Planning, cooperation, time and a lot of passion goes into making this publication. I consider words on newsprint as professional as can be and strive to make sure every word counts. Luckily, I have a staff that understands and takes pride in everything that we do.
Being the editor comes with a lot of confusion and questions. Should I change this to make it better? Will it make it worse? How does this look? Is this interesting enough? What do the readers want? How can I make our publication bigger? The list goes on and on. The truth is, I don’t think it ever stops. You can have years and years put into the perfect newspaper system and something can always be questioned.
That is part of the fun, though. The unexpectedness in a world full of structure makes this job more than meets the eye. You gain connections and learn something daily. You start to see your surroundings in a different way. Sometimes I think I have the best story idea that we have ever printed, and it turns out to be a fluke. Although newspapers are based on facts and everything seems in order, it is amazing the unexpected twists and turns creating an issue can provide.
The biggest lesson I have learned thus far is that nothing is perfect. I can triple-check every word and stare at the pages for hours before sending them to print, and I immediately notice an error as soon as I pick up a fresh copy. What matters is the effort and passion that you put in. Although 1% of the publication may always be wrong, you can only hope that the readers notice the endless hours and passion it took to create the other 99% instead. I have no doubt that everyone who reads this paper appreciates it and I am thankful for each and every one of you.
At this point, the only change that I can hope for is that The Western Carolinian becomes a common name across campus. I hope that I can tell people about my job and not hear “we have a school newspaper?” I hope that this becomes a way for students to communicate with their peers and learn about the amazing community Western Carolina has to offer. I have no doubt that this can be achieved and I am glad to be part of the journey.