The last time I wrote to you, I said that I wasn’t ready. I said that I was afraid.
I’d like to say that things have changed — and maybe they have, a little — but I still don’t feel ready. That might sound odd, considering that I have been Editor in Chief for months, and we’re nearing the end of the semester. You’d think I’d know exactly how to edit a story perfectly by now, or how to handle every single news story, but I don’t. So, I’ll say it again: I’m not ready.
But I love the fact that I’m not ready. I love that this job, this newspaper, this community, are all pushing me beyond my comfort zone. This semester, I’ve been pushed to do things that I couldn’t imagine doing a year or two ago, when I sat silently in my first Campanil meeting, afraid to even speak to the editors. I’ve had to juggle editing, managing budgets and facilitating staff relationships. It’s been hard, but I’ve loved every second of it.
The past few months have been difficult for our staff, the Mills community and the entire country. So much has been happening around us, and we are fighting to understand how we fit in as students and as journalists. The newsroom has framed the way many of us see and interact with these impactful events. And in turn, many of the other editors have shaped the way I see things.
I am in awe of everything I have learned from these incredible staff members. I am beyond proud of the work The Campanil has done this semester. From editor-at-large Jen Mac Ramos’s powerful article of an on-campus sexual assault to the vulnerability and honesty that opinions editor Dajanae Barrows has shared in her ‘Confessions of a grad student’ column to online editor Fatima Sugapong’s coverage of Oakland’s response to the Ferguson verdict. There are many more — too many to count.
I have seen some editors grow from quiet, shy students to ballsy and brave ones that are forces to be reckoned with. I’ve seen writers become powerful journalists. Many have become my greatest friends. The skills that all of these people have brought to the table have been unique and invaluable.
The content we have produced has been strong, but that does not mean that we are done. We still have much more to learn. We have still made mistakes. We are still students. We still need to work harder.
The Campanil will soon see many transitions. We will say goodbye to some editors and welcome new ones. New writers and photographers will come through the newsroom. We’ll begin new columns and be hit with more news to cover. And just as I was a few months ago, I’m scared and excited.
I may not know all the answers, and I may not know exactly what I’m doing, but maybe that’s okay — because I do know one thing: I’m going to work my best to continue to produce a newspaper that brings forward true stories that matter.
And I’ve got one hell of a team to help me do it.
Until next semester,
Ari Nussbaum, Editor in Chief