Our adviser, Assistant Professor Steve Stewart, says that our staff’s farewell columns are an indulgence, mostly because they are often more valuable to us than to our readers. This kept me thinking for a while: there must be a way; there must be something of value we offer in our last time expressing our voice to the readers at Troy.
In our farewells, there are often mentions of well-cherished memories, well-deserved thank-yous for staff members, friends, families, faculty and staff who have been incredibly helpful and supportive to the Tropolitan.
However, my greatest appreciation is for our readers who pick up our weekly paper, who read our website or follow us on Twitter.
Over the years working for the Tropolitan, I have experienced and heard about many obstacles that student journalists face, from non-cooperative sources, to people who stole our papers to prevent the truth to come out.
Yet, the greatest obstacle is our constant striving to connect with readers. There would be no paper if no one cared enough to read it. No one would bother to steal our copies if the content would not reach our audience anyway.
I am grateful that students, faculty and staff in Troy care and value us enough to tune in, to pick up our copies, to comment, to send letters to the editor and to offer us constructive criticisms. Thank you for your patience, your interest, your appreciation.
I cannot stress enough how important a role you, the readers, play in our experience as a student newspaper. If you didn’t care for newspapers, for journalism, there would be none.
And without journalism, it would be too easy for people and groups to exploit, manipulate and act irresponsibly.
I want to make a point that not just any content, either Buzzfeed or the majority of college lifestyle blogs or even my beloved Stephen Colbert’s show, is journalism. Entertainment and social commentary are not journalism.
I draw attention to this distinction because our staff, our student journalists, have worked very hard to uphold our journalistic standard and integrity to serve you. If the distinction — the standard — is lost, I fear, so is journalism.
In my last few words, I want to thank my staff and the generations of Troppers before me who have left a mission and many role models for us. I want to express my appreciation to the faculty, staff and everyone who has taken part in shaping my experience at Troy, all of whom deserve a personal thank-you.
I also want to specially mention the Troy SGA, which has been cooperative with the paper as we work to serve the student body.