I had a conversation with somebody a few weeks ago about why I have invested so much of my time into The Record. It’s not required for my major, and I have done most of the work without pay or credit. Why bother?I had to think about that for a while.
What does The Record mean to me? Why have I spent hours each week reporting, writing and editing stories, even though I am under no obligation to do so? The easy thing to do would be to just shrug and say I don’t know, but I think that would be untrue. Thousands of words later, I have a pretty good idea of what this small, student-run newspaper means to me.
Nowhere else in my life have I had such a tangible platform for my curiosity. For being a snoop. For meeting new people. For asking hard questions. For long conversations with interesting people. For listening, and then listening again. For participating in the creation of the first draft of history.
Even in the digital era, there is something magical about holding a newspaper. Flipping through the pages, getting ink smudges on your hands and letting your mind hone in on a single topic for a few minutes as you read an article.
As much as I admire the ideals of journalism, I wish I could say I have been drawn to journalism because I have always had a burning passion for truth and justice or that, above all else, I care about speaking truth to power. I do care about these things, and as I have learned more about journalism, those objectives have become increasingly important to me. But, there are a few other, less noble reasons that I have been so involved with The Record during my time at Goshen College.
First of all, if I am being completely honest, I am nosy. I have questions and I want answers. I want to know everything that is happening to everyone, and I am not the biggest fan of secrets, especially when they are kept from me.
Secondly, I love people and I love conversation. I love sitting down with someone, picking their brain and seeing where a conversation leads. I have found, if you are open to abandoning your plans and lingering over a plate of food or a cup of coffee, you will end up having conversations you never imagined you’d have.
Thirdly, I love a good challenge. There is nothing quite like reporting on an event that happened a few hours before the deadline. The adrenaline rush of sorting through your ideas on paper is exhilarating and exhausting. Writing a few stories a week since my first semester has improved my writing more than anything else I have done, and I feel that any aspiring writer at GC should take advantage of the Record as an opportunity to hone their skills.
Most importantly, I simply love to write. My grandma instilled in me a passion for reading from a young age, and, as I have grown into a writer, she encouraged me from her home in Pennsylvania. I will never forget when she once said, “Greta, I want you to know that I read everything that you write.” After a long and meaningful life, Helen Lapp passed away on Tuesday.
Of course, I couldn’t have done anything without the small but dedicated group of peers who have paved the way for me. I would like to say thank you to former executive editors Abby King, Megan Bower, Mackenzie Miller, Zack Begly and Nick Yutzy for setting the bar high.
This semester, I have had the opportunity to work with a hard-working and flexible staff, all of which have dedicated lots of time and energy into each issue. Thank you to Jackson Steinmetz, Sierra Ross Richer, Augusta Nafziger, Graysen Cockerham, Caleb Shenk, Eli Reimer, Erica Gunden, Jakyra Green, Mariela Esparza, Gogo Liegise, Yujin Kim, Caroline Greaser, Anna Smucker, Claire Franz, Gaby Klopfenstein and everyone else who has contributed to The Record in any way. The Record has always been the work of many, and it will continue to serve as an example of quality journalism for years to come.
Finally, I would like to thank Duane Stoltzfus for being such a wonderful faculty advisor, professor and mentor. He holds us to a high journalistic standard while simultaneously being our biggest supporter. I feel so lucky that, for a small period of time, people I deeply admire have trusted me to write for, edit and eventually lead The Record.