Last words from Guardian editors

    It’s impossible to write any sort of farewell to the Guardian without an intertwined sense of saying goodbye to UCSD. It’s also impossible to try to think about what to write that could possibly be meaningful to anyone without slipping into well-worn clichés about how much I’ve learned and how much I’ll miss people. I have learned a lot, and I will miss people very much. But it’d be great to write something mildly compelling. It’d be great to say something about the reason that journalism is the best thing that ever happened to me.

    Like a lot of editors on staff, I’ve been working on newspapers for a long time. And like a lot of people who have worked on newspapers for a long time, I know about certain indefatigable struggles that all newspaper people have. There is never enough recognition for people who work really, really hard. There will always be someone willing to tell you that however hard you’ve worked, it isn’t hard enough. And there will always be a story that could have been better, irrespective of the interviews you gave, facts you dug up or time you spent.

    “So why let it bother you so much?” I’ve heard people say, in response to my being hurt over a nasty post on the Web board or a particularly harsh letter to the editor. In a way, this question and its variants are asked of journalists all the time and, in a way, the people asking these questions are right. With the rampant partisanship and slanted coverage that have come to exemplify the media, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would choose to care that much about something so riddled with problems, especially considering the aforementioned lack of recognition and not-uncommon lack of respect.

    And yet people do care. They care because they really love investigating and reporting and because they want to provide information for the people around them. And then there’s the thrill of seeing your name in print, of seeing kids in class scan an article you’ve written. In those moments, it’s easy to understand caring so much about something that seems so rife with problems. In those moments, you are passing on your ideas to someone else, and that’s kind of incredible.

    If I could have people take away one thing from reading my articles over the past three years, it would be, “Hey, this girl is really passionate about journalism.” Maybe that’s too selfish or maybe it’s too much to ask. So often, we at the Guardian are working just to have people read the paper, and when they do, we wind up defending ourselves against criticism for one thing or another, some of which may have been deserved.

    But maybe that ideal critique isn’t so impossible, because regardless of people who thought I was too liberal, too offensive or too defiant of set standards, I never felt that people were accusing me of not caring.

    “Don’t be bitter,” my friend Vince said in regard to writing my senior sendoff. He should probably know, because in addition to being a great roommate and friend, Vince was a wonderful editor in chief and is a great journalist.

    I’m not bitter. In fact, I’m grateful, because working at the Guardian reinforced all of the things I wanted to believe about working for a newspaper.

    The purpose of journalism is not to persuade, but rather to inform. It’s to learn as much as you can about the people and places and ideas around you, and to try to mold that into some presentable truth.

    I’ve loved learning about San Diego and UCSD while on campus. And I’ve loved learning about how to be a better writer, editor and friend.

    Thanks to Vince, Bill, Josh, Charlie and Lauren for the leadership and friendship, and for allowing me to bitch. To the Tuesday-night Hiatus crew, I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my late-night production sessions with anyone else. Short kids really are cool. Cyn City, you’re a dreamboat. Rachel, I can’t thank you enough for every shred of sanity you enabled me to have. Mike and Michael — this paper could not run without you.

    It’s easy to be bitter when you look back at something that took so much out of you. I can’t deny the fact that there were a lot of nights at the production office where I just wanted to go home nor could I say that I never had problems with the way things were run or how people were treated.

    But for everything that newspaper took out of me, I gave a lot back. I worked really hard on every article I wrote, and I tried my best to be a responsible, discerning editor.

    It’s all anyone can do to show up every day and work hard. The great thing about journalism is that in addition to showing up and working hard, the people who work on newspapers are really passionate about what they do.

    I’ve been very proud to spend my time at UCSD working at the Guardian because of all of the passionate people I have met and all of the time I have spent surrounded by people who really cared.

    If there’s one thing that I’ve taken away from working at the Guardian, it’s the realization, “Wow, these kids are working hard to put out the best paper they can for the students around them. And they are really passionate about journalism.” It’s been such a rewarding experience the whole way through.

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