This is one of the rare moments in my life where I’ve had the opportunity to live out the dream of my younger self. Journalism has been a part of my life since my sophomore year in high school. I remember the morning distinctly to this day. Walking out of my advanced placement art history class and straight into my advisor’s office to see if there was any other class I could take.
I spent the next three years writing editorials ranging anywhere from the presence of ammonia-treated beef in US high schools to standardized testing. I’d be happy to never see any of those editorials ever again. I’m sure many of you can sympathize with the sentiment of picking up your best high school work and barely recognizing the words on the page.
As a senior I was promoted to opinions editor, but couldn’t help feeling unsatisfied. To have achieved the honor of being named editor-in-chief is a personal triumph that I can’t expect anyone else to grasp. What I hope this brief travel back in time has communicated is that I take a tremendous amount of pride in this publication.
The product that I will oversee every week fulfills a desire much deeper than the search for 10 hours of minimum wage every week. I live with the stress because I get to be a part of an organization that tells stories people need to hear.
Every new leader comes with a unique vision for how an organization will run. This is what you can expect from your news source next year:
A greater diversity of content:
Next year TKS will introduce a greater diversity of content to our website. More events will be covered on multiple platforms, much like our coverage of the 2012 presidential election and the recent student walkout. Media today is consumed in a variety of ways. Expect more videos and podcasts bringing you your news next year.
I have trimmed the editorial staff to open up room for paid contributor positions. By freeing editors from the duty of producing the majority of the content for their respective sections, the quality of the content will benefit. These contributors will focus on in-depth investigative pieces that have multimedia components, giving section editors more time to work with writers to make pieces more polished come publication.
To be sure, TKS will continue to rely largely on volunteer writers interested in accumulating published articles for use as writing samples or portfolio material. These positions will simply integrate students interested in pursuing investigative journalism more formally into the staff structure.
Transparency of purpose:
This has been a rough year at TKS. Contention concerning our material is not something we as an organization strive for, but as journalists it comes with the territory. Our responsibility is to the former, current and future members of the Knox community. We shed light on issues critical to life at Knox: good, bad or indifferent.
Next year as editor-in-chief, I will ensure that we continue to strive to get a variety of voices in our stories. Over the summer, I will review problems TKS has encountered over the year with respect to our coverage. I will supplement our ethics statement, currently available on our website, with a statement of purpose to explain our procedure when we encounter stories of a particular nature.
TKS is more than a weekly project put together by a group of students. It is a source of information and a resource. It is there for you if you missed a soccer game you meant to see, if you’re looking for a new show to watch or if you’re interested to hear about what was discussed at Student Senate.
Let’s work together because at one time or another, we’re going to need each other to be there.