Farewell from the Editor-in-Chief

Hannah Fagen, Editor-in-Chief Emerita

To my family at The Schreiber Times,

 

I put off writing this letter for a long time, not because I had nothing to say, but because I wanted so desperately to not have to say goodbye.  It doesn’t feel real to me that this is my farewell letter, or that my time at The Schreiber Times is over.

Since my first issue at the end of my freshman year, I have spent a whopping 756 hours in the pub room, for a total of slightly more than 31 days.  I have literally spent a month of my life in the pub room, and I have to say that it was the best month of my life thus far.

The Schreiber Times was my favorite part of high school, and I have no doubt that I learned more from working on the paper than I did in any one of my classes.

After four years, there is no place where I feel more at home than the pub room, and there are no people with whom I would rather be than my fellow staff members and our incredible advisers.  If I said that I hadn’t cried the whole way home after performing my final duties as Editor-in-Chief, I would be lying.

This year has been a wild ride, to say the least.  With such a new staff, our first bednight was, understandably, stressful for many.  Superstorm Sandy struck during our second issue, and you adapted quickly and with great attitudes to each of our many schedule changes, and even worked hard to put out an online issue while most of us didn’t even have electricity at home.

We powered through one bednight without each of our advisors, working efficiently and meticulously to insure that the quality of our paper didn’t suffer.  You even worked through a freak March snowstorm, exemplifying the outstanding teamwork that I saw all year while you helped clear off each car in the lot before you went home.

We had many late nights (or, more accurately, early mornings), and putting the paper together wasn’t always easy.

Still, whether we were exchanging “secret journalist” gifts, pausing our editing for a brief disco dance party, or humming along to throwback playlists while we worked, you always made the pub room a fun place to be.  Although our shared goal of producing a monthly issue of The Schreiber Times made us a staff, it was the special moments we shared together that made us a united team and a family.

Ms. Zarkh and Mr. Medico – you two are truly the newspaper dream team.   I have more respect and admiration for the two of you than I could adequately describe, and I am so grateful that we were blessed with advisers who are so dedicated to the paper, and who legitimately care about each of us on the staff.  Thank you for being the perfect mom and dad to our little Schreiber Times family!

Thank you to my Copy and Managing Editors, who were always there to serve as my right hand man and woman when something needed to be done.

It was a joy to work with the News section.  You were always truly “on it,” and willing to take on stories as the news emerged, even late into work week.  I always had faith in you three to put the “news” in newspaper.

I am so proud of the progress of the Opinions section over the year.  You were all new to the staff, and you struggled at first to adapt to the stress of producing the paper.  Throughout your ten issues, however, you became more comfortable in your roles, and always fought to cover the issues that mattered to students.

I was consistently impressed by the efforts of the Features section this year.  You constantly sought to improve the breadth and depth of your content, no matter how high the hurdles appeared to stand.   Even though your tenacity was probably your fatal flaw in terms of getting home at a reasonable hour, the passion that you felt in the pub room fully manifested itself on the page.

A&E certainly had the biggest personalities on the staff, and you always kept us entertained, whether you were sneaking fake album reviews onto the article list or making the staff laugh with your punny headlines.

Sports, although I couldn’t always convince you to give up your coverage of national athletics, you strove to increase the relevance and quality of the writing in your section this year, which certainly paid off.

The Graphics section was a godsend this year – you always seemed to save the day when we needed help with design elements, and your covers were each fantastic.  Photo, thank you for always doing your best to make sure that there were newsworthy photos to accompany each article.

To the new staff: you are an extremely talented bunch, and you have nearly unlimited potential.  So long as you work cooperatively and take your jobs seriously, I am sure that The Times will be outstanding next year.

The power of the scholastic press is great, and you should not take the responsibility that comes with this power lightly.  The positions that you take on contentious topics and the way that you choose to report significant events have the potential to shape the school environment and bring about real change.

Always report fairly and accurately, as it is your responsibility to get the real facts out to the Schreiber community.

Still, remember what Benjamin Franklin once wrote: “If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.”  Don’t be afraid to push the envelope.  No journalist is well known for playing it safe.

 

All my love,

Hannah Fagen