Emily Anderson: Editor-in-Chief
Every Sonic Youth song longer than five minutes (most of them). Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. Training for a marathon — or, even, a half marathon.
That was a list of things I’ve started and never finished. I feel like I’m ending my tenure as editor-in-chief of The Daily Utah Chronicle with just that — a list of goals I started to work toward but didn’t quite accomplish.
As I reflect on my four years at the paper, though, I’m realizing that I achieved far more than I ever dreamed of.
When I applied to be a reporter on the news desk four years ago, I remember having sweaty palms during my interview and checking my inbox every hour for then-news editor Courtney Tanner’s email telling me whether I was hired or not. When the year came to a close, I didn’t apply to take Courtney’s place at the helm of the desk — I mean, how could I possibly fill her shoes? She told me she was disappointed I didn’t throw my hat in for the position, so I applied to be assistant news editor. Halfway through the next year, I was made news editor anyway after a lucky break.
A few nationally-covered breaking news events later, I realized that maybe I did have what it takes to be a journalist after all. I applied to be editor-in-chief — the ultimate goal of my college career. In my proposal, my vision for the Chronicle in the next academic year was to:
Increase training and networking opportunities with local journalists
Hire a correspondent from the University of Utah’s Asia Campus
Collaborate more with the other sections of student media
Encourage further campus engagement by holding events and publishing more letters to the editor
I didn’t accomplish nearly as much as I hoped. However, thanks to passionate colleagues, many of these objectives saw some degree of success.
At the beginning of the academic year, I applied for the Chronicle to participate in the Poynter Institute’s College Media Project. We were chosen as one of nine student newspapers across the country to have access to trainings and webinars from the experts at the Poynter Institute, as well as journalists from national publications. As part of the project, we were given a $3,000 grant to address whatever we felt was the biggest barrier to civic discourse on campus. We identified that as religion.
Kristiane Sonnenberg, a contributor on the opinion desk who is majoring in English and religious studies, oversaw the project. Her brilliant insight led to coverage that began to introduce the U’s community to the wide spectrum of spirituality on campus, as well as examined students’ relationship with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
When it came to finding a correspondent on the U’s Asia Campus, I didn’t have to go to Korea. Instead, Mitch Shin came to me. In an email that stated his goal of winning a Pulitzer Prize in the subject line, Mitch requested that he begin bringing news from Incheon, South Korea to Salt Lake City, Utah. Mitch passionately covered a variety of issues, beginning with one of the most difficult to confront — sexual assault.
Working with other sections of student media was not as simple as it seemed. As students, it’s hard for everyone to take on responsibilities beyond what they already have. We produced some podcasts with K-UTE. Beyond that, yeah, I pretty much failed.
I’d like to think our campus engagement increased. The Chronicle hosted a presidential forum leading up to ASUU elections. We also fielded more letters to the editor than we have in the past — some of which garnered significant controversy.
The Chronicle has continued its tradition of being an award-winning (thanks to the Associated Collegiate Press, Utah Press Association and Society of Professional Journalists) and nationally-recognized newspaper.
I’m excited to pass it on to brilliant up-and-coming journalists. Haley Oliphant, Justin Prather and Josh Petersen will without a doubt take the Chronicle to new heights. The news desk, which I hold dear to my heart, will continue to hold authority accountable and keep campus informed under Jacqueline Mumford’s leadership.
I’ve made the best friends of my college years at the Chronicle. I love the Chronicle and owe much of my success, perspective and experiences to it. And that, I’d say, is a big accomplishment.
Greyson Harness: Print Managing Editor
In my four years at The Daily Utah Chronicle, nothing prepared me to write a farewell column. I was prepared to edit stories professionally, to manage a team of six desk editors and their staffs and to oversee the production of each weekly issue we’ve done for the past two semesters. Yet, I find myself now utterly unprepared for leaving the Chrony. What will I do everyday now? Presumably I’ll find another job, but what about all of the people I’ve met and had the distinct pleasure of getting to know here?
For some, I’ve already said goodbye. Kaitlin Baxter, who interviewed me and taught me the ropes. Emily Juchau, who set the example I strived to achieve this past year as print managing editor. Kamryn Broschinsky, who encouraged me to reach beyond my comfort zone and apply for copy chief. Kim Brenneisen, who always had something kind to say to me, even though we only caught each other in the office maybe every other week.
For others, I’ll have to say goodbye soon. Emily Anderson, who I first met working at the Peterson Heritage Center and never expected to run into again after I quit. We worked well together. Haley Oliphant, the person who kept me sane while I spent a summer abroad in Jordan. Paul Stevens, the most candid and honest person I’ve ever met. You really threw me for a loop when you asked when I was going to get married. Justin Prather, who put up with my incessant nagging about photos. To all of the desk editors this year, Jacqueline Mumford, Zach Janis, Casey Overfield and Elise Scott — it’s been a pleasure to watch you grow as writers and members of the Chrony family. To my print copy editors, Aiden Keenan, Kate Button, Maddy La Turner and Abigail Bowe — you have all been wonderful at your job, and I’ve sincerely enjoyed getting to know you and laughing with you at whatever nonsense was in the latest story. If you ever need a reference or letter of recommendation, you know my number.
Finally, for yet still others, I don’t plan to say goodbye. Madi Slack, who I met way back in freshman year. I had a crush on one of her friends and invited said friend to come watch a movie with me. She brought Madi, who hardly spoke to me. Perhaps it was freshman anxiety, but I was so convinced she hated me. Yet, five years later, I’m happy to call her one of my best friends. From lunch in London to late-night cinnamon rolls, it’s been my pleasure to be your friend. Alli Milne, who was my most successful copy editor hire. She was the only one I interviewed who preferred physical papers to digital ones. At the time, I hadn’t ever touched a print edition of the Chrony. Ironic, isn’t it? I may have only recently started to get to know you, but it doesn’t take long to realize you’ve found something worthwhile. Of course, I can’t forget Kissy Sonnenberg, my roommate/romantic partner. I’m glad you decided to check out my work and liked it so much you decided to work here yourself.
I think my saddest goodbye, though, will be to myself. The sophomore who came in four years ago is not the same person who is leaving now. He was scared and anxious for the future, wondering whether he could succeed in a job. I think I’ve pretty successfully proved past Greyson wrong on that point. I hope future Greyson can prove me wrong again. I’m not sure who I’m going to be in six months, but I’m going to work to make it a person that Chronicle Greyson would be proud of.
Paul Stevens: Design Chief
I joined the staff of the Chronicle during my sophomore year after seeing a poster in the Fine Arts Building that read, “Graphic Designers Wanted.” I had no idea what the paper was about — honestly, I don’t believe I had even picked up a copy before walking into the office for an interview. I had no idea what to expect — I just knew that I wanted experience, and this sounded like a fine way to get it.
My first day working — as a page designer — the production manager gave me a quick run-through of what I would be doing and immediately put me to work. I remember feeling overwhelmed, but by the end of those first few hours, I had made something that I was proud of. While I can’t say that every day ended the same way as that first one, I did wrap up that first year with a feeling of accomplishment. I had learned through real-world experience, made it through a fiery furnace of trial and error and believed I was more able to tackle whatever lay ahead.
Fast forward another year, and I was the design chief. Or art director. Or production manager. Or something. Really, I don’t think an official title was ever settled on, but I was in charge of the look and feel of the print edition of the paper, as well as ensuring that it was successfully handed over to the printer each week. In this capacity, I spent more time directing, collaborating and asking questions than actually “designing,” but I enjoyed getting to focus on the big picture.
The first big responsibility of this position — one that was essentially self-imposed — was to work with the design staff to create a more unified, editorial-feeling publication. We — Ashlyn Cassity, Rachel Wesemann, Hannah Allred and myself — spent the summer of ‘18 researching and reviewing typefaces, grids, image treatment techniques, illustration styles and, of course, other newspapers. After a significant amount of back-and-forth, we finally settled on a design system that has guided the newspaper throughout this school year and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Since the summer, I have enjoyed working with the other members of the design staff and editorial board to create what we hope is a worthy and consistently improving publication. I have tried to provide the best direction I can — something that can be hard to balance with the other responsibilities of being a full-time student — and while I know that I have fallen short in many ways, I greatly appreciate my friends and peers (they are one in the same at the Chronicle) for their patience and help along the way. It has been hard, but worth it, and I smile when I remember the experiences had.
This is the final edition of the Daily Utah Chronicle that I will ever work on. As I finish writing this — remember, I am a designer, not necessarily a writer — I am left with the same feeling I had my first day; it has been challenging. I have spent far too many (and yet, not enough) late nights in the office; I have worked with and been taught by wonderful people, and I am proud of what we have done.
Madge Slack: Arts & Entertainment Editor
When I first started at the Chronicle, it was on a whim. My dear friend, Greyson Harness, said they needed an arts writer and I thought “I like art.” Three years later, I am graduating with a degree in English and pursuing a career in writing. I didn’t know it at the time, but that moment changed my life. I look back on the decade I spent as a professional performer, my five-year-old insistence that I would be a veterinarian and my mother’s interjections that I should think about broadcast journalism. It turns out John Lennon was right about life, plans and staying busy.
I have always known how to stay busy. At the end of my first year as a Chronicle writer, the arts editor position opened up. Once again, I thought, “It couldn’t hurt,” and I applied. I have performed at nearly every professional theater in Utah, and I have reviewed shows at all of them. I love the arts, from the gallery shows to virtual reality. Strangely enough, I’m not a big concert person (preferring show tunes to pop), but I hired others who were, so it all worked out. I have always loved the arts, but I didn’t really think about why until I was holding weekly meetings to discuss the latest arts events and trends with other arts lovers on campus. If nothing else, let me say I wouldn’t be here without my team of writers. They are excited, passionate people with so much talent and spunk. Thank you to each and every one of you. It’s been a blast.
You see, the key to art is timing. Of course, this makes sense to stand-up comics and actors who aren’t trying to talk over each other, but all art requires timing. If Sir John Everett Millais’ “Ophelia” was created today, hundreds of people would see her, but she wouldn’t gain the fame she did in 1851. She would likely hang in a high-end gallery instead of the Tate in London. If “Games of Thrones” had come out in the 1990s, it would have been considered too violent, too graphic and probably inappropriate. It wouldn’t look like it does now. We have to be ready for each new iteration of artistic expression. We need to be slowly conditioned by slightly more violent movies before we can handle a great work like GOT. It has to be the right time.
Life is the same way. Or, at least, mine is. It twists and turns and builds (I really hope it’s still building) to its full height. Even though I didn’t realize it at the time, the Chronicle was my inciting incident. The first action to put me on the right path. Becoming editor was another action, one that allowed me to help others grow. And now, I face another action. The moment before graduation when all my plans look suddenly small and the house lights are too bright for me to see what is out front. So, it’s time now, to face the music of the future with a convincing smile and a heavy heart. I have left my work in great hands. Now I just need to say a final goodbye to my time at the Chronicle and all the wonderful people in it. Thank you to Greyson Harness for suggesting I write in the first place. Thank you, Alli Milne, for filling the hour between school and ed board every week and sharing the “tea.” Thank you to all the amazing people I have gotten to see weekly for the past two years. It’s been an honor.
Amy Loret: Asst. News Editor
I initially joined the Chrony in Dec. 2018 with my own hidden agenda. While heading the U’s “secret society,” it was our mission to get the word out about our organization, and we decided that an article in the school newspaper was the perfect anonymous route to do this. Of course, I recognize now that infiltrating the Chrony for this reason wasn’t the most “ethical” thing to do, but stick with me here.
I honestly never imagined that working on the news team would become such an integral part of my college experience. The news desk writer position came during a “mid-life crisis” in my college career when I was trying to distance myself from campus involvements, telling myself I needed time to “relax” and focus on my future after graduation. Ironically, I actually felt useless and more stressed than ever. I think that I threw myself into writing for the Chrony once I saw the position as an outlet to spend my free time doing something other than freaking-out over things I couldn’t control.
As assistant news desk editor, one of my roles was to pitch online news article ideas to our desk writers. This gave me an excuse to stay up-to-date on what was happening around campus and in the community. I reconnected with campus groups that I had been involved with over the past five years, from the Bennion Center, Housing and Residential Education and ASUU to the Lassonde and Hinckley Institutes.
At the same time, I gained new perspectives while interviewing several incredible people and groups on campus that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise known about. I found that I could help bring student voices to campus issues through writing and had the opportunity to cover several topics that are important to me and other U students and faculty, including campus safety, sexual assault and Title IX, women’s rights and various bills throughout the Utah Legislative Session.
With the knowledge that people were actually reading my articles, I constantly thought about how my writing would come across to others, as well as what and who it represented. I would ask myself daily whether the articles I was working on were biased (both explicitly and implicitly), and I had to learn how to manage this concern along with the other aspects of the assistant editor position.
Sure, there were times when I would be up at 3 a.m., writing or editing an article thinking to myself, “Amy you’re so stupid, why did you think this was a good idea to do your last semester of college?” Although, let’s be honest, I would probably still be up anyways watching the “Great British Baking Show.” With that said, words can not express how lucky I am to have met and worked with the talented news desk writers and Jacqueline Mumford, who is hands-down the best news desk editor ever.
If I had to rate it, 11/10 would work for the Chrony again. As a biology major whose majority of writing experiences prior to joining the news team involved crying over scientific research papers, I can say that the creative freedom, social skills and instant gratification that one gains from writing for the Chrony are so valuable. Write for the Chrony, and you will thank me later.
Zach Janis: Asst. Sports Editor
Through the experiences I’ve had at the helm of the sports desk, I’ve learned more about the role of sports in the world than by any other editing process.
Growing up, I hated sports. I thought it was barbaric, unnecessary and arbitrary in its existence and current state. I was much more concerned at the pure violence of it all. I grew up in a football/hockey family, so the only sports I watched were the ones with chronic traumatic encephalopathy scares. I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t particularly care for it, and I had no intention of it being in my life.
I have to imagine, given my stance now, that it was because sports had never impacted MY life in any significant way. Sure, it was cool when my parents cheered, and it was nice to see my city excel in sports, but it had never said, “Hey, Zach Janis, you should care about this.”
That all changed in 2012. The LA Kings made their run at the franchise’s first Stanley Cup, and as we watched them win series by series, decimate team after team along the way, there was a shift in the environment I lived in. The grass was greener, people were happier and we all had something to gather around the TV for. It can only be described as magic. When they won, there were tears, there was celebration, jubilation at the idea that we, three generations of a family, had all seen something for the first time. Then, they did it again two years later. You can’t make this stuff up.
The two Cup runs gave me a great sense of the magic that sports can have. It allowed me the chance to lose myself in the moment of victory and give me the chase of searching for that feeling again. I was chasing the dragon, but in a sense, that’s what every sports fan is doing. Thousands of athletes, hundreds of teams and billions of dollars, all to hold that trophy at the end. It’s crazy when you think about it.
I’ve interviewed countless Utah athletes during my time with the Chronicle, and largely, the questions are the same. When you interview a player, you’re looking for their motivations, the intentions behind their actions and why they operate the way they operate. I’ve asked dozens of athletes that very question, and not one of their answers was ever the same.
That’s the beauty in the game. It involves billions of people when you count viewers, but there are billions of reasons why people choose to involve themselves with the art of sports. We strive to reach the limits of human ability, and we endure immense amounts of defeat along the way.
To me, sports is the purest example of the human spirit imaginable, and as long as people have the itch, the urge to compete and the hunger for triumph, sports will coexist with humanity for eons.
Christina Giardinelli: Investigative Coordinator
As a transfer student from Salt Lake Community College, I was told by counselors at the U to jump head first into campus life. After reading a few issues of the Chronicle, I knew that was the pool I wanted to dive into. I walked into the Communications Department, told them I wanted to write for the Chronicle and was referred to Jake Sorenson. “We love Salt Lake Community College transfers,” was his unforgettably encouraging response to my inquiry. The next step was an interview with — at the time news editor — Emily Anderson.
I will never forget how attentively Emily listened to my long-winded response to the question, “What current events have you been following?” When she asked whether I was drowning in homework during my first semester on campus, I told her it wasn’t too bad. “Oh just you wait, it’s only going to get worse,” was her premonition. She was not wrong.
You know you love your job when you get home from a long day of work and classes, excited for comfy pajamas, chocolate milk and a movie, only to see Emily’s “breaking news” message and voluntarily spend the whole night covering it. This was a common occurrence during my time as a staff writer and investigative coordinator at the Chronicle.
I don’t know how Jacqueline Mumford, Emily Anderson and Elise Bailey put up with my late night rants about my latest beat obsession or my fiery Italian attitude when GRAMA requests were not returned on time, but I am very grateful for their saintly patience. I can’t thank them enough for all of their encouragement. Jacqueline, I honestly don’t know how I will turn anything in after I no longer have you to light a fire under my behind.
I owe so much of the satisfaction, growth and learning I have done over the past few years to the Chronicle. The opportunities this independent student newspaper gave me to experiment, take initiative, test my comfort zone and learn from my mistakes really shaped my university experience and left a memorable impact on me.
Best of luck to all the Chrony staff, whether you are staying or moving on to the next step. I am excited to see all of your bylines in headlines throughout the country and to continue reading great work from the Chrony. Somebody, please remember to bring lasagna to next year’s Christmas party!
Kristiane Sonnenberg: Poynter College Media Project Coordinator, Opinion Contributor
I started at The Daily Utah Chronicle as an opinion writer. It was nerve-wracking at first, especially since I fall in an awkward political middle ground. I was convinced that no one would want to read what I thought about anything, let alone what I thought about topics like abortion and beer gardens. Sometimes comments got to me, and I never wracked up huge numbers of readers. I don’t mind. My time as an opinion writer has taught me to clarify my ideas, to back every claim with evidence and to run my ideas by other people.
I’ve worked as an opinion writer for almost a year now, but I hit my stride at the Chrony when Emily asked me to be the leader for our “Are U Mormon?” project. I was surprised by the request, to say the least. I was a staff writer who had joined as a senior, and I was unfamiliar with the inner workings of Student Media. I found my footing pretty quickly, though. As a religious studies and English double-major, I loved getting to help people write about religion. I was considering jobs in academia when I started working on “Are U Mormon?”. Guiding others through the confusing world of religious journalism made me rediscover my passion for religion. I am grateful for the chance to come to my senses and decide to pursue my professional passion as a career.
My work was fun and fulfilling, but it was the people I worked with who made my year at the Chrony my best in college. Every moment of distraction in the office was worth getting to spend time with the Prod Squad. The design team made our Poynter edition look great and they livened up the office. The print copy editors covered for the stupid mistakes I made in my opinion articles and were quick to share funny stories. Elise’s edits made me sound smarter than I am, and her endless patience and understanding helped me through my anxiety about writing. Alli made me giggle like no one else can, and I look forward to becoming even better friends as we move into our real adult lives. Emily believed in my ability to guide an importance project, and it’s been a joy to work with her on a topic we’re both passionate about. Greyson got me interested in writing for the Chronicle, and his unending support at work and home created the environment I needed to thrive. Thank you all for the laughs, the support and the seemingly endless funny quotations.
Working at the Chrony has honed my professional skills, led me to rediscover my passion for religion and connected me to lifelong friends. I may not end up pursuing journalism as a career, but I will always be grateful for my time at the Chronicle.
Andrea Alvarado: Opinion Contributor
Before joining The Daily Utah Chronicle, I tended to censor my opinions in order to avoid triggering anyone or igniting any sort of confrontation. Once I started writing for the opinion desk, however, I learned how to be fearless and confident about my beliefs. My editor, Paul Braden, never discouraged me from writing about controversial issues. I was never asked to be moderate in my speech or to argue from someone else’s perspective. The Chronicle allowed me to be courageous in my writing and unapologetic about my opinions. Reaching a place where I was confident and proud of my work wasn’t an easy road. It took some critical comments under my articles and a couple of anxious messages to my editors to accept that dissent is not something I should evade. I have learned to not take every comment under my articles as personal, but rather to view them as ways to improve and to listen to different perspectives. I won’t deny that it is still hard to be graceful and take critical comments about your work into consideration without dwelling on them. Due to the time and effort dedicated to crafting your arguments, sometimes you feel disrespected when some readers just seem to jump to conclusions without reading the article thoroughly. Nevertheless, my time at the Chrony has allowed me to get a bit more used to criticism, which will definitely help me as an aspiring writer.
I’m beyond grateful for the Chronicle. Writing for the opinion desk was a breath of fresh air after feeling burnt out and jaded from grinding out essay after essay about topics that felt impersonal to me. My editors gave me the chance to fall back in love with writing and to write as an outlet rather than as a percentage of my grade. Although there were a few occasions in which I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the weekly theme, the freedom to express myself was rewarding enough even if I didn’t feel as passionate about the topic at hand.
I would encourage any student reading the Chrony to give the opinion desk a try, especially if you are currently feeling frustrated with the state of the world. Journalism and writing can truly make you feel empowered when you feel as if your voice has become drowned by the chaos around you. It is important to challenge our own opinions and to be open-minded to listen to others. We should place more value on being able to explain the basis of your beliefs rather than spewing unsustainable claims while blindly adhering to abstract concepts. The skills I developed during my time at the Chrony have made me a more critical writer and citizen. I’m deeply thankful for the experience, and I’m very proud of the quality work my fellow writers submitted every week.
Ashlyn Cassity: Designer
I was in the middle of my junior year when Paul Stevens asked me if I was interested in working at the school newspaper, The Daily Utah Chronicle, and I exclaimed, “We have a school newspaper?” I had never heard of the student newspaper that produces new print content every single week for the entire three years I had attended the University of Utah. That said, I am so grateful that I eventually adjusted my reply with a yes.
As a graphic designer, there is a responsibility I feel I have to every person that looks upon my work and sees what I did to convey emotion beautifully and meaning clearly. I am a visual communicator and an artist that walks a fine line between creating something that looks aesthetically pleasing and also effectively communicates a story. Working at the Chronicle has given me this challenging and worthwhile task to convey a story to the audience before a paragraph has even been read. I have had the privilege to design over a hundred different pages at this point, each story so carefully thought out and dedicated to pursuing the truth. It motivated me every day to give the work of the journalists the last final push to be readable, engaging and entertaining through design for every person that may pick up the 32-page paper.
One major way the design team was able to focus on clearly conveying the written word, was to redesign the whole creative system of the Chronicle during the summer of 2018. We spent many hours as a team searching hundreds of editorial examples to pull influence from. We worked draft after draft with different typefaces in various weights and sizes, overall placement of elements, folios and paragraph styles to ensure that the written word was both legible and inviting to read. All the while, we aimed to still provide enough room to play with other elements, such as photos, within a transformative grid system. With much trial and error, we produced a new-and-improved Chrony that shone with exquisite minimalism and an almost electronic web-browsing quality and feel. With the new system in place, we were able to execute production at a faster rate and still provide care to the paper’s readability as well as maintaining creativity and agency for the designers in the office. Even though it was hard work, I believe it was worthwhile and will remain functional for many years to come.
The Chronicle office is an interesting and lively place to work. You can find students at almost all hours of the day and sometimes even the weekend working on the next issue, personal projects or even trying to catch a few minutes of sleep before their next class on the designated office couch. I have shared many laughs and memories with the amazing students working in and around student media here at the U. The design team itself is very unique, having three different majors between the four of us at different ages and stages in our college career. This diversity has helped me grow as a designer as I have learned new strategies and styles of design. Every day, I was able to collaborate and get feedback from these other inspiring artists. I honestly don’t know if I will ever have the same level of freedom in creativity from future jobs as I have had at the Chronicle, and therefore I am grateful that I have had the time to experiment and practice techniques with purpose in a fun and supportive environment. So, hopefully, this isn’t your first time picking up this newspaper or reading the online email that gets sent out, but if you did happen to stumble upon this column, yes there is newspaper at the U, and yes it is full of amazing personal stories, detailed investigative journalism, beautiful photographs and thoughtful design practices all coming together to inform, entice and entertain. Thank you everyone, and good luck!
Katelyn Collett: News Contributor
When I was hired on at the Chrony, the first thing that Megan, my little sister, told me was that I was like Clark Kent. Maybe it was the similar glasses or maybe because of her slight obsession with Smallville but that was the comparison that she would use to talk about my time at the paper. Honestly, while I was not a writer with glasses on and a superhero when they came off, my short time at the Chrony has felt epic.
My family’s excitement at seeing my name in the Chrony’s newspaper and reading every issue and looking for the articles online made me feel even better about my writing. My uncle Shawn would ask what I was working on every time I saw him and he would read my articles online and discuss them with me, sometimes before I even knew that they were available myself. Both of my parents and my grandma would save the papers that had my articles and their encouragement made me feel even more excited to write articles. I appreciate having such a loving and supportive family.
I have met incredible people at the Chrony and also through writing stories that I may have otherwise never interacted with in everyday life. I have spoken with the mayor and met much of the U’s administration and faculty. For the most part, I have had very positive interactions with every person I have interviewed or emailed. I met some amazing students working in groups on campus and I am still amazed at how much they do for the school and student lives.
The people at my news desk are awesome and I wish those who are graduating the very best in life and those who will stay at the desk for a while after this year the very best in life and to continue their hard work. Jacqueline Mumford, the news editor, has taught me a lot and is a great editor. She will continue to do great things here at the paper and the news desk is better because of her hard work.
Reporting the news is not easy, in fact it is very, very hard. People will not always talk to you. Sometimes you will not be able to complete an article because those sources won’t talk to you, but if you try and do everything you can it will not be a waste of time. If you write the news, you will probably receive an angry email or two, probably more, and the comments section may even have people who have strong opinions. Despite the anger, despite the current attitude toward the media, keep reporting. All of that will continue to come and with controversial topics people will continue to voice opinion, but that is why we will always need the media.
If you are causing people to feel strongly, you know you are writing something important and did it well. I have hope that the stigmas around the media and news reporting will eventually change for the better.
I have not been at the Chrony for a long time. I only started last semester, but I have learned a lot during my time here. I wish I had joined the news desk earlier in my college career because I think I would have enjoyed it even more if I had been there longer. I would tell the people on campus to try to find groups on campus that may fit in with their interests earlier than their senior year. I would also tell those who may be farther into their degree but not actively participating in groups on campus to think of their interests and find a group. There’s something out there for everyone and you will have a richer college experience.
Mandi Johansen: News Contributor
I found the Chronicle in a little bit of a different way. I had honestly only read a few articles, mostly just breaking news, before I started writing here, but that is also because I’m a transfer student. I was assigned to be in a group project for a political science class and two of the members of my group both wrote for the Chronicle’s news desk. After we finished working on the project and we were all packing up to leave, they started talking about it. They were discussing what it was like to write there when the assistant editor, now the editor of the news desk, appeared from a different room. It turns out she was the RA for one of my group members. She mentioned that they were looking for more writers and invited me to apply. I said I would think about it.
Life got busy. I thought about it a lot because I knew it would require time and effort, but after being told to apply again from one of my group members, I sent in my resume. I came to the conclusion that it would be worth the time it would take and that adding writing to an already busy schedule would help me to prioritize my time and prepare me for a future career. I was interviewed fairly soon after I sent in my resume and started writing for the news desk. I’m not naturally an outgoing person so being required to get quotes from people was both anxiety-inducing and a blessing simultaneously.
It took a lot of effort at first to even send emails to people to get quotes. That got easier over time and after a lot of practice, however. On the other hand, I still have a hard time making phone calls, but I have slowly started to overcome that. Although, I do still have to take a deep breath every time before pressing the call button and I’m not sure that’s going to change any time soon.
I can’t even count the number of ways that writing for the Chronicle has helped me. It has helped me to develop skills I didn’t even know I had, ones that I have always known I needed to work on and ones that I thought I was already good at but needed more improvement. I will probably even discover more ways it has helped me in the future. I am not planning on having a career in journalism, but good writing and good communication are essential for any career.
I have made friends and learned more about how the U functions while writing here. I have met professors and faculty outside my disciplines and learned so much about the resources offered for students. I wish I had started writing for the Chronicle sooner so that I could have learned even more and further developed my writing and communication skills.
I have overall enjoyed my time writing for the Chronicle and encourage anyone who enjoys writing and working with people to apply. You won’t regret it. There will always be a demand for passionate people.
Aiden Keenan: Copy Editor
I should’ve come to the Chronicle sooner. I feel like I only just arrived, and now I’m a senior, bowing out. After a year of copy editing, I’m really glad that I arrived in the first place.
There is a pressure to express a farewell so tenderly that the weight of passed time and the importance of lessons learned come to absolute fruition at the very sounding out of “goodbye.” I’m not too invested in the superpower of conclusions and I may not believe in them. Maybe that’s the best part of being an English major — you learn to get to the ending of a book without crying with questions, but with questions all the same. It is time, though, to add up my credits for a degree and my experiences to the sum of one — something neat and reputable.
What I do know is that college has been a hammer of humility, telling me to seek value in my effort. The Chronicle has been another tool of humility for me, too, curbing the stigmas that I held about student engagement.
I could also call the stigmas I held before being a U employee as my tendency to be, well, a brat. I held a stiff arrogance about anything associated with school. I thought the U would have me on a puppy leash, while I was too cool for school to let that happen.
I spent a lot of unnecessary time skirting any and all walls that had a campus insignia, afraid of being a cheerleader for my university. Being a student isn’t about walking in, new, and having prejudices. It’s about being the puppy that you really are when you know you have a lot to learn. It’s a lot harder to succeed with the idea that nobody can help you.
The U has so many resources, you’re a sucker if you don’t use them. I know the university environment is corny in the context of a brochure or a poster on a wall, and being on campus longer than required made me feel like a pet, but what’s powerful is seeking out the mapped places to see for yourself what they are and then putting work in to make them your own.
Copy editing at the Chronicle has treated me well. I dug my heels in at a place I was supposed to be from the beginning and now I get to walk away having it as an accolade, but also as a kind of lucky charm in my pocket for the next thing. At its least it’s been the place I sat and singed my ankles by a tiny space heater to get through winter. At its best, it’s been about getting rid of the stage fright that happens when hands type out decisions on a keyboard, like truncating a sentence or adding a comma, and you can use that as a metaphor for anything, even my graduation.
Alli Milne: Copy Editor
When I was in high school, I made a list of all the things I wanted to accomplish by the time my college graduation rolled around. Spoiler alert: I wasn’t very successful. I didn’t read “Les Mis” all the way through, my GPA isn’t as high as I thought it would be, I’m definitely not on the short road to medical school and I didn’t meet my soulmate. Here’s what I did accomplish: I managed to get two bachelor’s degrees, I found the road to law school, I learned to swim. Most pressingly, I had one hell of a ride at the Chronicle.
When I first applied to be a copy editor and interviewed with Greyson, I really did think he was never going to call me back. Not because it was a fundamentally bad interview, but because his last question really threw me, “How do you prefer to consume your news: on paper or online?” I told him paper. The tactile act of holding the news in your hands and then having to physically wash it off your fingers makes me feel things. He looked at me so strangely. I guess it must have worked.
After being accepted as a copy editor, I didn’t just get a job. I got a home. I have learned so many things from this family I found. I learned that a beer tastes better when you drink it with friends. I learned that the people you keep in your life forever aren’t always the people you first expect. I learned that the best nights aren’t the big ones, they’re the small ones you spent on the dirty office couch laughing about the latest Netflix special.
Looking back at all the days I spent in the Chrony office, it’s hard to pick a favorite. There were days when the office was absolutely buzzing — laughter from every corner, music coming from somewhere and everyone trying to get a word in. I loved those days. There were also the quiet days, though, and there’s something to be said for those, too. The days when we brewed tea and tried to parse the rules of cricket, or propped our feet up on the desks and made plans to spend the summer trying out a new RPG.
We hung our words on the walls, but the walls held more than those. They held our laughter, our tears and our off-key renditions of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” They struggled under the weight of every single time we shouted the word “f—k.” Just like any good childhood home, we have to move out and become stubborn adults eventually.
So this must be it. The hatchback is shut on the proverbial Subaru, the cardboard boxes are filled with words like “job applications” and “dental benefits,” the car keys are in hand and I don’t think anyone packed a map.
Goodbye, Daily Utah Chronicle. Yes, yes, I promise I’ll call.