This time last year I was not really thinking about the fact that our class of 2014 Lantern editors were nearing graduation. I was merrily toddling along in my professorial role, teaching classes, working with students, grading.
What a difference 12 months makes.
Actually, what a difference four months makes, as it was Jan. 2 when I took over as interim Lantern Media adviser and got to see from the inside what happens after my students leave our news writing class and enter the world of the Lantern practicum and editorships.
In short: Our student journalists are amazing.
Remember the Buckeyes in the National Championship? Our students covered that. The Jon Waters band scandal? Covered that, too. President Drake’s arrival? The Lantern was there. Crime on campus? Got it. Trustees meetings? We are there. Celebrity visits? The Lantern is on the ground.
This is as close to a real newsroom as I worked in my first job, and provides a training and proving ground for young journalists in print, multimedia and broadcast that cannot be equaled. They cover beats, break news, work with sources, cover events, travel with teams and broadcast through fire and ice–all while carrying full class loads and trying to enjoy some aspect of being college students.
On Sunday night, this staff will gather for the last time to put out another terrific edition filled with news for Ohio State students, faculty, staff, alumni and interested parties.
It will mark the end of the academic publishing road for a decorated staff that features editor in chief Liz Young, managing editor for content Michele Theodore, sports editor Tim Moody, arts editor Daniel Bendtsen, photo editor Mark Batke, multimedia editor Chelsea Spears, station manager Franz Ross, sports director Hayden Grove, news director Ritika Shah, copy chief Grant Miller, assistant photo editor Jon McAllister, assistant sports editor James Grega, assistant designer Kelsey Wagner, assistant multimedia editor Hannah Chenetski.
Starting, Tuesday we will welcome a new staff of editors who will no doubt work tirelessly to maintain our high reputation and put their own stamp on Lantern media.
I, too, will be soon bidding the newsroom goodbye to return to my academic role. My interim role was just for the semester, and the reins now get turned over to a new adviser with a vision that will no doubt help us reach even greater heights.
I will, however, never again take for granted the effort that goes into creating Ohio State’s student media on a daily basis. I hope the entire Buckeye nation will tip its collective Block O baseball cap to the hardest working students on campus who strive with every story to make the rest of us better informed.