The final editorial of the semester has a tried-and-true pattern, often offering encomiums and a love letter to journalism — and I, for one, am happy to carry on that tradition. After nine issues together, I have little else but gratitude on my mind.The path from accounting to The Record may not be well-trod, and it certainly wasn’t in my college plans, but I’ve found the newspaper’s central role as a forum for campus discussion to be captivating.
When I had my first article published (an opinion on starting college amid a pandemic), I was fascinated with the process of writing on a deadline, getting feedback and submitting it. Then, having friends reach out with encouragement helped me realize The Record’s wide-ranging influence. Having your words turned into printed ink on a page, and simultaneously etched into GC’s history, is a daunting, humbling and yet remarkably fulfilling task.
After a full semester of newspaper work, here’s the three things I’ve come to appreciate most about The Record.
First: interviews. It’s a lovely excuse to get to talk with people on campus and ask them their thoughts. Some of my favorite parts of articles have been hearing what a peace and justice professor thinks about the war in Ukraine, what a student thinks about poetry on campus, or what the president of GC thinks about pickleball. It’s made me a better conversationalist, too, as I practice the ever-important skill of listening.
Second: deadline magic. “Deadline” is a bit of a magic word in the newspaper realm — sources understand the immutability of a publication date, and adding that word to an email can help get a response. And on Wednesday night, when the Record machine is running in full force with up to a dozen people working on designing, printing, rewrites, mark-ups and final checks, it is pretty close to magic.
Another joy of deadlines is getting to read over the articles on Wednesday morning and being dazzled by rhetorical flourishes or poignant photos. Our staff has been dedicated to journalism at a high level all semester — not settling for the quickest or easiest option, but doing the gritty, often unnoticed work of extra interviews and workshopping pieces in advance.
And third: Record work has helped me enjoy writing. When I came to GC, I intentionally wanted a major with the least amount of writing — real mature, I know. Business, physics and accounting were on my mind; history and English were out of the question. Although I found those subjects interesting, I knew that I disliked the laborious writing process, so I stayed away.
I chose accounting, and I’m glad for that choice. I enjoy numbers and learning about how finances can tell a story for businesses, and it’s a helpful skill that every business needs.
But as I wrote more and more for The Record, I realized that I could do it. The writing block was a self-imposed one, and as I got more practice and feedback, I realized that writing had become one of my favorite parts of college. I didn’t mind writing papers anymore and looked forward to the challenge of a complex article. Record work gave me lots of repetitions with quick feedback, and it’s both made me a better writer and made writing a more enjoyable task.
Back to this semester. I counted to see how many people formally contributed to The Record this semester: people who wrote an article, took a photo, or were on staff — being interviewed didn’t count for this statistic. Take a guess. 30 people? 40?
Seventy different people contributed to The Record this semester, making up 10% of the student body. This paper was a group effort, and I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who has shared their time and their talents.
It has been an honor and a delight to work with The Record, and I look forward to continuing the iterative processes of listening and writing, and listening again, in whatever I do.