A final letter from the editor
Harrison Long | Editor-in-Chief
The long, hot summer
Three short months ago, I took the position of editor-in-chief of the North Texas Daily. The journey has been more arduous and challenging than I could have ever imagined at the onset, but I have found that the most rewarding experiences often are.
I began as a staff writer for this paper in February 2015, and have remained a part in some capacity in the time that has followed. The individuals I’ve encountered, both inside and out of the newsroom, defied expectation. I have made lifelong friends, ruffled the feathers of newfound rivals and irritated local citizens with pervasive “liberal trash bag” editorials and columns. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
In this past year, this newspaper has once again proven to its student body that it is a viable source of information and represents its readership to the best of its ability. Though the summertime is slow, and resources often less available than that of the fall or spring terms, we have had our fair share of heavy-hitting content since our first issue: systemic abuse by landlords all around the Denton community, the fallout post-passage of the Renewable Denton energy plan, and, in this very issue, stories regarding campus carry and prostitution inside of Kerr Hall. We’ve been busy, despite what any of the naysayers, nitpickers and general malcontents have to say on the issue. I am proud of those with whom I work, and hope to continue in some capacity through college and beyond.
The state of the paper
I’ve been a part of this paper for 18 months, and in that time there is one lesson that rings true above all others, and has been made abundantly clear in my time as leader: there is no reason that this paper cannot work to the advantage of all that contribute to it.
The modus operandi I have attempted to instill into the culture of this organization in my time at the helm is that, as students, we are at a midway point between the comfort and idealism of our younger days and the harsher, less-forgiving world of the post-grad. It is a time to grow from mistakes and establish relationships that will span beyond graduation.
While it is essential to future success to take one’s time at university seriously, it is all the more important to realize that no one profits from the downfall of another. Your success is not dependent on the dismemberment of your peers, whether they be less experienced, equal to, or greater than you in terms of ability. To burn bridges in an effort to get ahead will only hurt you in the long run – this concept applies to those within your own organization, and those you will encounter in other fields. Being a jerk will inevitably get you nowhere.
I am confident that I am leaving this paper in what I believe is a prime position for future growth. Engagement is up, content is pertinent and timely, and staffers are energized. Where the Daily goes from here will be dependent on whether the organization is primed to only showcase the efforts of a few, and fall into ruin once those “sacred” individuals are gone, or if it fosters an environment where all grow together, and the skills learned in class are put into practice without the fear of failure. I urge all to remember, in this time, not to take themselves too seriously.
Please know your power, students
This paper, being representative of its students, must hear them when they lend their voice. I would encourage all students, young and old, traditional and not, to let their perspectives be known. You can submit a letter to the editor, you can encourage coverage of issues you feel have been swept under the rug. Incoming journalism students: know that it is entirely possible for you to be published within the column inches of this publication. Dedicate your time and effort to crafting something of substance – something you can be proud of, and send it in. Work with your professors, and ask them for tips and tricks of the trade. Slash – the weekly meeting to discuss the final outcome of the paper – takes place in GAB 114 every Friday at 3 p.m. Even if you have nothing to say, show up and get familiar with how we operate. This meeting is open to all students and faculty, and is the greatest opportunity you have to see who is writing what. Who knows? You might very well see your byline at the top of the page sooner than you ever thought possible.
To conclude, as my time on the editorial side of this publication comes to a close, I’d like to offer a sincere thank you to the readership who has kept up with the happenings of the Daily all this time. You don’t get to 100 years through anything less than prolonged, measurable effort, and I’m proud to be associated with such. Here is to the next 100 years – cheers.
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