Friday, January 14, 2022
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Letter from the editor: So long, farewell, it has been absolutely grand

Seventy-four issues later, it’s almost impossible to believe this is the last issue published during my time with University News. From staff writer to managing editor, it has been grand and I could not have asked for a better collegiate journalism experience.

The team we have built over the last few years has made extraordinary strides in building a student-run newspaper that has become a trusted news source around campus.

I’ll be honest. When I first joined U-News in fall 2016, the newspaper had just surfaced from what I’ll call a rough stretch in the publication’s history that left the paper with a damaged reputation. In the last few years, however, I have watched U-News grow tremendously. What started with an old-school approach of a print-first, online-later attitude has transformed completely.

During my early years with the paper, we sometimes struggled to find enough content to print a full-eight-page issue, nothing was ever posted online until the print issue hit the stands and everything went live at the exact same time.

Recognizing the prominence of our online readers, we changed the nature of the game. Instead of treating online content as secondary, we started posting time-related content as soon as we possibly could after an event happened, and we staggered our evergreen content to go out at different scheduled times throughout the week. Since, our online presence has grown tremendously.

I’ve not only seen the quantity of the newspaper’s content increase over the years but more importantly, the quality. We have had an incredible crop of talented, young journalists join our staff. Articles are well written, well researched and we have been consistent in keeping tabs on the big stories that stretch out for months, and even years.

Once a year we make a trip across the state for the Missouri College Media Association conference and award ceremony. The first year I went, we brought back one award. Last year, we took home 10—eight awards for individual writers, and awards for second best website and an honorable mention for the best publication in Division I.

This semester, we have worked to build on the momentum we started last year. After building up our online content, we thought the next step was to get to the ball rolling on multi-media content. We’ve been posting produced video stories once every few weeks, and we have a weekly podcast, “Pink Lemonade” hosted by our editor-in-chief, Sam Danley.

A special thanks to our faculty advisors Bill Bell and Steve Kraske who have provided excellent guidance during our climb up. They have both also been incredible mentors for me personally.

This is where I pass the baton. Our current news editor, Lucas Cuni-Mertz will step in as managing editor—Sam will still be around for another semester as EIC, as well as Robert Zimmerman as sports editor, and Basma Al-Zadjali as digital editor. Cierra Howe will join the staff as news editor and Clarate Heckler will step in as our arts & entertainment editor.  And, readers, let me tell you, you are in amazing hands. I cannot wait to see where the team takes the publication from here. It is going to be great.

If you want more words from me, however, you’ll have to start reading The Pitch KC. I start as a staff writer next month, a few weeks after I graduate. And with that—I sign off as managing editor.

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