Orion Rummler, Editor-in-Chief • firstname.lastname@example.org
As the Whitetopper enters another semester, a fresh round of editors, writers, photographers and columnists have taken on the job of covering local and on-campus news. It’s a time-consuming job, and often a thankless one–but a weekly, student-run print publication like ours is something to be proud of. Especially when the work has such a tall learning curve. A handful of our editors and writers aren’t even Mass Communication majors, but they do the work just as well as any full-time major. And even if they don’t–they learn, and then they get better.
Really, that’s the core of what the Whitetopper is. It’s a newspaper, but it’s also a learning experience. It’s a chance for any student–Mass Comm or not–to get real experience in journalism. And as with any learning experience, mistakes are often made. More than that, mistakes are expected. And that’s why I am so proud of our new editors and writers this year. Going after a story, tracking down a source, transcribing quotes, fact-checking and editing are all skills that have to be learned over time–and a couple of mistakes are going to happen along the way. Fixing and addressing those mistakes makes our publication stronger.
Another essential part of our newspaper is honest student feedback. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to recognize and correct our mistakes. And since we are a student-run paper that aims to accurately inform the Emory & Henry population, it’s only fair that other students tell us what we’re getting right–and what we’re getting wrong. Student feedback, anonymous or not, is always necessary for our continued growth as a newspaper. Any E&H student should feel like they can reach out to the editorial staff of the Whitetopper to provide feedback and constructive criticism. Seriously, feedback is invaluable to us. After our editors have been cooped up in the office for six hours every Wednesday night, they have a tendency to overlook a couple details. So it’s beneficial when thoughtful students point out those details to us.
Recognizing editorial mistakes and underlining the importance of student feedback are two normal parts of starting a new semester at the Whitetopper. I’ve worked at this newspaper since I was a freshman, and with every new staff member comes new opportunities for learning and developing a stronger publication.
We are lucky enough to have an almost entirely new staff this year–so the mistakes will continue, as will the learning process of working accurately on a deadline. This happens every semester, and it will continue to happen every year. That’s why I’m proud of the Whitetopper–it’s constantly changing, developing and improving as staff members come and go. But no matter how much it changes, this newspaper will always primarily serve as a learning opportunity for future jour