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GOODBYE COLUMN: Anyone can become a journalist; all it takes is an attitude of learning

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Matt Firpo

Opinion Editor

I remember coming to my first layout night at the Tropolitan and finding a loud, rowdy gaggle of editors trying to put together a newspaper. We haven’t changed much since then, but I’ve learned how much this paper means to me.

I started out as a bewildered copy editor who didn’t understand the first thing about sports, and I’m always thankful for Michael Shipma and his patience while I asked questions.

Working at the Tropolitan has taught me so much, and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to be a section editor.

I would like to thank all the readers who have given me feedback on my writing. My goal for this section has always been to instigate discussions about relevant issues, and the Trop’s Facebook comments never fail to provide boundless insight on our readers’ perspectives.

Writing opinion has always been a collective effort at the Trop, where every article garners discussion. My fellow editors don’t always agree on everything, but I’ve enjoyed the conversations that I’ve had with everyone on our layout nights.

That’s what the Tropolitan means to me. It’s a community of journalists working to find the truth, which isn’t always black and white.

One thing I’ve learned when training writers is it isn’t a crime to have an opinion; it just needs to be well-founded in facts. Time spent being afraid of your audience isn’t worth the reward of bringing attention to important issues

To Assistant Professor Steve Stewart, the Trop’s advising professor, thank you for your careful corrections and your guidance. Thank you for always providing feedback, encouragement and constructive criticism.

To Pradyot Sharma, my successor as opinion editor, I couldn’t be more proud to watch you take this position. I watched you grow as a writer, and I look forward to watching your talents flourish.

To Tori Bedsole and Sable Riley, thank you both for your leadership as editors-in-chief. You both have left your own mark on the Trop and should be proud of the work you have done.

Good luck to next year’s staff! I’m fully confident in your ability to make this publication succeed.