Columns / Discourse / May 25, 2016

Holding both Knox and TKS accountable

I began my time at The Knox Student at the start of Winter Term my freshman year. Kate Mishkin, my resident advisor at the time and TKS Co-News Editor, encouraged me to come after hearing that I had helped start my high school’s newspaper.

I told her I would think about it, but secretly figured I would probably skip the meeting as I felt too bad to outwardly decline the offer.

Then, half an hour before the start of the first writer’s meeting of Winter Term, Kate called me. She had forgotten her reporter’s notebook in her room and needed me to bring it to her. So all of a sudden I had to go. She was counting on me to be there.

After that initial meeting, I kept coming back. I felt an obligation to Kate and the rest of the TKS staff to do so. They needed writers and I was one of few. It was something for me to do as a bored freshman and it felt important to be telling people’s stories.

My sophomore year I was asked to join the staff as a News Editor and I haven’t stopped since. I served as News Editor again this past Fall Term and even during my time abroad this Winter and Spring Terms, TKS has been a big part of my daily life.

TKS has been the bread and vegan butter of my time at Knox and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Through it I’ve made some of my closest friendships at college and have probably spent more time in the publications office than any other location on campus.

I didn’t realize it until I was applying to be the next Editor-in-Chief, but it wasn’t the friendships or articles or even the paycheck that kept me coming back to TKS. It was the idea that TKS has the ability to create real and important change at Knox and related communities. People are counting on TKS to be there to tell their stories that would otherwise go untold.

We haven’t always been there though. No doubt there are stories that haven’t been written that should have been and things that I wish I or the staff had done differently. Like anyone, we make mistakes. I can’t promise that we won’t next year, but I can promise that myself and the rest of the staff care about Knox and want to use TKS to push the college and those that make up its community to do better.

I couldn’t have worked with better people and cannot thank the current editors-in-chief Kate and Casey Mendoza enough for all they have taught me. Thanks to the previous Editor-in-Chief Julian Boireau ‘15 for believing enough in freshman Rachel to give me a place on staff. I hope I can live up to the precedent these individuals have set next year and that my staff can produce the important content that the community deserves to hear about.

We cannot do this without you though. TKS wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the cooperation of all the people outside of the newspaper. Thank you to all of the students and administration that have spent countless hours being interviewed and taking time out of your day to let us ask you questions. I look forward to doing it again next year.

Send in news tips to If you have an opinion you want to express write a discourse column or send a letter to the editor to if you have comments on any of our content. Just as I want TKS to hold the Knox community and administration accountable, I want the community to hold us accountable and let us know when we can do better.

We need your help to keep a pulse on the problems and occurrences on campus and to improve our publication. I can only hope that you see the paper as a valuable and important medium like I do and recognize the influence that print can have.

Next year look forward to more investigative pieces, an expanded multimedia presence and increased transparency about how our publication is run. TKS depends on the community for content, just like I hope you depend on us for information.

Rachel Landman
Rachel Landman graduated in 2017, majoring in creative writing and double mimnoring in journalism and environmental studies. She was editor-in-chief of TKS her senior year and worked for TKS for a four years as a News Editor her sophomore and junior years and as a volunteer writer as a freshman. Rachel is the recipient of two first place awards from the Illinois College Press Association in 2015 for investigative reporting and news story. She also won second place awards in 2016 for news story and sports feature story. She saw her staff win general excellence for 2016. In addition to The Knox Student, her work has been published in the Galesburg Register-Mail and Catch Magazine. She studied abroad in London during Winter and Spring Term of her junior year. Twitter: @rachellandman_

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