Columns / Discourse / May 25, 2016

Outgoing editor says final farewell to TKS

A year ago, I had just spent a semester in D.C., where I had learned all that I could about journalism and new media, where I had met dozens of other young, budding media types, professionals in the field, industry legends, etc., and where I had fully solidified my desire to work in the field of multimedia journalism.

And then I came back to Knox.

To many, that transition back might seem like a serious downgrade in terms of opportunities and experiences. My professors and peers all made jokes about how I should have just stayed, because there was a job or an internship waiting for me in the city (this was a lie — jobs are scarce). They didn’t understand why I wanted to go back to my small little college with a tiny little journalism department in the middle of nowhere — they were shocked to know that there was only one Starbucks and no Au Bon Pain.

It might sound silly, but when I was abroad, I missed this place, and this paper, like crazy.

I missed the pub office, pub nights and the staff. I missed covering campus events and photographing different members of our strange student body. I missed picking up a copy of the paper every Thursday afternoon to see how it all turned out. Most importantly, I missed being a part of something so small, yet so impactful and meaningful to an entire community.

TKS has been a large part of my life for the past four years — so much so that I can’t think about Knox without thinking about it. TKS is where my journalistic roots start, and I owe a lot of my current career aspirations to it. I hope that, in the past year I’ve worked as Editor-In-Chief, I’ve given back somehow. If I have, I owe that success to the people I’ve worked with.

This year, this paper has had one of the strongest staffs I’ve seen in the four years I’ve been here, and we have both the content and the awards to back up that statement. They’ve worked tirelessly every week to come out with a strong issue and they’ve put up with my critiques and obsession with social media (but seriously, it matters). I’m proud to have worked with all of them.

Next year, I’m excited to see how the next staff contributes to our long history of strong journalism, especially under the hands of next year’s Editor-In-Chief, Rachel Landman. I know they’ll do just as well, if not better, than I did.

So ends this weird little love letter to a newspaper; it’s time for me to go.

Casey Mendoza
Casey Mendoza is a senior majoring in political science and double minoring in philosophy and Chinese. This is her fourth year working at The Knox Student, previously as a photographer and photo editor. Casey is the recipient of two awards from the Illinois College Press Association for photo essays. During the summer of 2014, Casey also worked as a photography intern for the Galesburg Register-Mail, covering local community events and working alongside award-winning reporters and photojournalists. During the winter and spring of 2015, Casey studied journalism and new media in Washington DC, learning more about the world's political arena, networking and gaining a greater understanding of the field. There, she worked as a Production Assistant at a documentary film company, The Biscuit Factory. During the summer of 2015, Casey will help produce a documentary on airline reservation technology for the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC).

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