Columns / Discourse / May 23, 2019

Editors-in-chief pass on the torch: Keeping close to the community

As of this week, my time at TKS is over, and Connor Wood will be serving as the newspaper’s editor-in-chief. I am beyond confident he will do well and that TKS will continue to provide the news and content that the Knox community needs.

Graduating and moving on from Knox is making me say a lot of hard goodbyes, but none have been so difficult as the one for TKS.

During my four years at Knox, TKS has been at the center of everything I do. It’s where I made some of my best friends, where I grew as a journalist and where I found a true passion that I want to turn into a career.

I was mentored by the editors who came before me and have watched my fellow editors and younger classmates come up through the ranks and do some amazing work. I am honored that I got to lead them and that I was able to learn so much from every single one of them.

They are my friends, and they are incredible journalists. They have supported me when I’ve fallen apart, given me the help I needed and always made sure we make a kick-ass paper. Even when it’s midnight on a Wednesday and we’re scrambling, even when I’m pulling an all-nighter to get a breaking story in, even when we are stretched thin, we are there for each other.

Because it isn’t all fun. Anyone who has worked for TKS knows the countless hours we put into the paper and the stress we endure. We are by no means everyone’s favorite organization on campus. We’ve made mistakes. I’ve made some big ones.

At the end of the day, we are students trying our best to give Knox the news it deserves. And I, for one, am incredibly, incredibly proud of the work that we’ve done and the work of my fellow editors.

There are so many things that I will miss: Jonathan Schrag calling me when news breaks, coffee with Tom Martin on Thursdays, being in the pub office until late on Wednesdays, working hard and goofing off, being the most obnoxious paper at the Chicago award ceremony, being blown away by a brand new reporter who’s already got it down, crowding around the computer as Katy Coseglia edits a particularly good photo, everybody oooing and ahhing.

My love for this newspaper is overwhelming and oftentimes embarrassing. If you’ve heard me chanting “TKS! TKS! TKS!” on a porch at a party, I’m not even a little bit sorry. I cannot adequately thank this newspaper, my fellow editors, and those who came before me. It has given me so, so much.

I’m forever grateful that I came to that first mixer during my freshman year, that Rachel Landman 17 and Kate Mishkin16 offered me a job doing layout in the news section, that Rachel saw promise in me and let me be news editor the following year. I’m forever grateful for all of the insight those women gave me. I could write several memoirs on the subject, but you don’t want that, so I’ll stop. Instead, I will say thank you.

And thank you for reading. Thank you for supporting TKS, for commenting on our articles, for dropping me a letter to the editor, for writing in questions when I started a ridiculous advice column, for keeping us in check and giving us your feedback, for allowing us to do this. We do it for the campus.

So keep talking to TKS. Keep giving the staff your feedback. This paper is for you.

And look forward to next year. I hear that Connor and his crew are pretty good.

Erika Riley, Editor-in-Chief
Erika Riley is a junior majoring in creative writing and minoring in journalism. During her sophomore year, she worked as a news editor, and during her freshman year, she worked as a layout editor. She is the winner of the 2017 Ida M. Tarbell Prize for Investigative Reporting and the recipient of First Place Front Page Layout from the Illinois Press Association in 2016. Twitter: @ej_riley

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