Experience is a great teacher. My first two months as news editor ended with a lawsuit threat. Two years later, I’m so thankful for it.
I never really considered myself much of a risk-taker. Coming back this year to be EIC (rather than apply to grad school) was one of the bigger risks I’ve taken. And yes, at the beginning, it often felt like I’d stepped into shoes that were a little too big for my size six feet. In the months I spent training over the summer, I would sometimes wonder to myself how I would handle running the paper for the entire year. I had nightmares before the year began, making me question my own competence at taking on this job.
And to be honest, I don’t kid myself into thinking that the year was perfect. It seems like every week I was learning something new and growing into my new shoes, so to speak. I’ve come to realize by the end of it that that’s part of the experience—we never truly “fit” into the position, we make it what it is. And I think everyone who takes it on will bring their own approach to it.
And boy, the things I learned this year are incredible.
I learned that truth sometimes means making decisions that are unpopular. There have been a number of times when people asked me this year about why we take some things so seriously when we’re just a student newspaper. Yes, we’re a student paper and it does mean that we are in many ways a work in progress. It also means that in many ways we represent our readers: UTM students. But don’t forget that we are also a newspaper, and there are some journalistic principles that come first in order for us to remain a credible, responsible, and reliable newspaper.
Any good journalist sides with the truth. And that means putting up with people’s comments, complaints, and sometimes even lawsuit threats. And it also means taking risks.
I also learned that being editor-in-chief doesn’t mean that I’m alone in running the paper. For someone who had so much anxiety before the publishing year, I couldn’t be more thankful for the editorial team I had this year. From helping each other come up with ideas for each week’s issue to collaborating on hosting this year’s events and cracking jokes with each other and at one another’s expense, you’ve truly made this year a memorable one for me.
Nicole, you’ve run an amazing news section, taking on new and challenging topics, and above all, following up on stories. Farah, you’ve worked incredibly hard, taking on extra pages and coming up with hit topics. You have a real gift for taking specialized topics and making them easy for general audiences to understand. Kate, you have a great eye for detail when it comes to artistic criticism and a great pen for putting it in writing. I’ve found that often your articles read like art themselves. And Eric, you’ve been a fabulous sport all year—a real team player (get it?). Puns aside, you brought some great values from the sports world into your work here—loyalty, dedication, and sportsmanship, to name a few, and you taught me a lot.
Thanks also to Sarah for the dedication you put into your work each week and for always being willing to step in to help out whenever we needed it. To Akshaya, for the hilarious copy editing comments each week and for saving us from publishing embarrassing errors in our issues. To Kim, for being so organized with the blog this year and engaging readers with fun and interesting posts. To Corey, for the good humour you brought into the office and to our online presence. To Mayank, for your impressive marketing skills with which you first sold yourself to us during your hiring, and then used to sell The Medium to advertisers, and for being so enthusiastic all year.
A special thanks to Maria Cruz and Mahmoud, who came through whenever we had a crisis and really stepped up and became leaders among our team. Thank you both for all your work, dedication, and courage this year.
And, of course, thanks to Luke, the first and only EIC I’ve worked with at The Medium. I remember my first ever news article, and boy, how much editing it needed. I also remember, when I first started working as news editor, how much help I needed with everything from knowing where to find stories to how to do my layout on Sundays. I thought about these things several times this year, and I couldn’t believe the amount of trust you and Larissa placed in me at that time and how much I grew from your support. Thanks for helping me grow as an editor, a journalist, and as a person.
To my lovely parents: thanks for being so supportive of me this year. You sympathized when I was stressed out, listened to me when I needed someone to talk to, and of course, stayed up every Sunday night waiting for me to come home. I know this position involved many sacrifices on your end, and I’m grateful for it and love you.
Thank you to all our writers and photographers, readers, and everyone who came out to our events. This newspaper is made by and for you, and I’m sure I speak for the entire editorial board when I say that we couldn’t function without you.
Thank you to all of our supporters, both the open and the quiet ones, whose continuous motivation has kept us going when things get tough, and who never fail to remind us of our responsibility as a newspaper.
And finally, thank you, God, for throwing this opportunity my way and giving me the courage to take it. There were plenty of challenges that came my way this year, and You gave me the strength to stand up and take each one head-on.
Another year has come to an end at The Medium, but a new team is ready to take the reins. I wish you all the very best. There’s no telling what’s in store for next year, and I hope to read about it then.