What I learned: A letter to myself

I meant to blog regularly to help myself keep track of the semester. Then August slipped out from under me, and September, October and November. And now here I am, facing another semester as editor in chief.

I ran uncontested again, and the word became official a while ago: I’ll return to the Arizona Daily Wildcat next spring for a second term. I’m really excited, as the page-long .pdf I sent out with my initial recruiting email might attest to, but my perspective has changed a little bit since August.

My friend (and news editor) Kyle sometimes writes notes to Future Kyle on his whiteboard. They’re usually reminders to do his homework, but sometimes Past Kyle offers himself really good advice too. So today, I’m taking a cue from Kyle. Continue Reading


The wind that knocks you over

Sometimes I miss being a Daily Wildcat columnist just for the opportunity it gave me to organize my thoughts out loud. Since Friday, I’ve on and off tried to write about the theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., which, as news broke, reminded me more and more of being in Tucson in January 2011. There’s a lot to say about politics and gun control, or mental health care and treatment, or good and evil. But the best that I could come up with is that being in the world is hard, and sometimes the wind will blow you off your feet. Continue Reading

You guys, I hate titles.

Who has two thumbs and is the fall 2012 editor-in-chief of the Arizona Daily Wildcat? This girl. Betting on me was probably safe, given that I was the only one running for the gig, but here we go anyway.

To say next semester will be interesting would be an understatement, given how much has to change. There’s a lot of worrying about keeping up with budget cuts and catching up with the way journalism has changed in the last few years. (You can download my Daily Wildcat editor-in-chief application as a pdf.)

I expect to meet a lot of resistance. It won’t be because I’m abrasive or too demanding, though maybe I should cut back on threatening to set people’s personal belongings on fire. It’s definitely not that I’m asking for anything too hard to accomplish, assuming we go at it with some patience and flexibility. It’s just really, really new.

And yet it’s not. Nothing I want to do is something entirely different from what people already do. People are already on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. People already know how to report, write, design, shoot, film, etc. I just want people to combine all of their skills, including the things they don’t think are skills (like tweeting or snapping a picture on Instagram), to produce a more well-rounded story for print and online.

Everyone has the potential to be a great storyteller. They just need to be pushed to approach and present the story a little differently.

And OK. Every editor-in-chief of the Wildcat has pitched these big abstract ideas, only to burn out and realize their lofty visions get tangled up in the day-to-day stresses of the paper. I don’t expect to streamline and transform the Wildcat in a semester or two, but here’s hoping that having a tangible game plan will help lay something of a foundation.

In other news, not long now until Dow Jones News Fund training in Texas and then I’m off to Los Angeles for my internship. And I’ve found a place to live, so I won’t even be homeless this summer. You win, week.