Your Editor-in-Chief, for the last time

Mariah Valles, Editor-in-Chief

When I began my journey with The Observer in winter 2018, I never thought I’d become a section editor, let alone the Editor-in-Chief. This week, for the last time, I’m writing as the Editor-in-Chief. Coming to this decision was not easy, but because I am a broadcast major, it’s time to make Central News Watch my priority as I enter my senior year of college.

After two terms of being the Editor-in-Chief, there’s been a lot I’ve soaked in. It’s not yet determined who will take over after myself, but there are a few things I’d like to say.

Your position is a privilege, not a right

This is the most important to me. Letting titles and power get to your head will do nothing but hurt you. Take on the mindset of “I’ve earned this” rather than “I deserve this.” If you barge in hot headed and angry, demanding the impossible, nobody is going to want to work with you. Be reasonable and don’t forget your staff is your team, without them you have nothing.

Mistakes will happen

This is one of the hardest things to come to terms with. The whole part of your job is to guide your staff, not chastise them. If somebody makes a mistake, pull them aside and talk to them about it. No need to yell or point fingers, just talk. Be a mentor. Run the correction immediately online and in print the following week. Don’t make people afraid to admit their mistakes. If that happens, the newspaper is less credible.

It’s okay to have some fun

Being serious all of the time will not only make your time forgetful, but dreadful. Don’t be afraid to encourage inevitable newsroom chaos at times. When I first stepped into my position I was all business, no fun. No jokes. No laughter. Okay, I’m being dramatic but in my second term I let my guard down, trusted my staff and still made something to be proud of. Some of my fondest memories of college were made in the newsroom.

I couldn’t have gotten through this quarter without my co-workers and friends in the newsroom.

Cassandra Hays (Scene) should be recognized for her organization, creativity and overall attitude.

Jack Belcher (News) should be recognized for his eye for news and dedication to creative headlines.

Nick Jahnke (Sports) should be recognized for his ability to learn InDesign and manage a sports section after not writing a single sports story prior to the start of the quarter.

Shawna Hettick (Photo) should be recognized for her passion for photography and making The Observer a priority, even if it meant using her lunch break to take photos.

Will Yi (Design) should be recognized for his flexibility regarding the double truck and willingness to create last minute graphics.

TyYonna Kitchen (Copy Desk) should be recognized for her outstanding dedication to editing stories.

Hanson Lee (Opinion & Engagement) should be recognized for attempt at making the newspaper visually appealing.

Ben Wheeler (Online & Social Media) should be recognized for his communication skills.

Rune Torgersen (Online & Social Media) should be recognized for his eagerness to learn and adapt based off critique.

Nick Tucker (Senior News Reporter) should be recognized for his preparedness to cover last minute, but meaningful events.

Bryce Weedman (Senior Sports Reporter) should be recognized for not being afraid to say what’s on his mind.

Just because I won’t be the Editor-in-Chief any longer doesn’t mean I won’t be close by. If anybody needs anything, at any time, just @ me in a random group chat.

The Staff should be recognized for their dedication to the student newspaper and being a part of CWU history.

For the last time,

Mariah Valles