There are many ways I could go about writing this. I could explain that despite my unconventional path at the Collegian, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I could thank former editor-in-chief Becca Foley ’20 for taking me under her wing, managing editor Jackson Wald ’22 and editor-in-chief Mae Hunt ’21 for believing in me, editor-in-chief Evey Weisblat ’21 for pushing me to be a better journalist (even when we disagreed) and the entire Vol. 148 staff for an unforgettable year.
While I wholeheartedly mean those things, I think it would be more productive to share the following.
A few weeks ago, one of my professors asked me why journalists are more defensive of their ability to do their jobs than people in other professions. Caught off guard, I fumbled and gave him an incoherent answer about the importance of supporting journalists in liberal and progressive circles. I suppose I proved his point.
After the reporting Evey and I did this week, I think I have an answer for him: Journalists are defensive because we are expected to have all of the answers, even when there aren’t any.
Having written about everything from boat races in the Kokosing to College budget issues, I can say with some certainty that not all good journalism is about holding institutions accountable. And that’s okay.
The best reporting is about making people question what they previously may not have ever considered. And while a critical reader will do that naturally, it is our job as journalists to raise those questions in the first place.
In my time as managing editor and features editor for the Collegian, I’ve become a sort of walking encyclopedia of Kenyon knowledge; whether it’s about when Campus Senate began (1963) or the latest on the College’s Pass/D/Fail policy, my friends, peers and sometimes professors assume I know the answer. And while sometimes I do, there are many things I don’t have answers for.
That, too, is okay. If I’ve learned anything over the past year, it’s that not all stories can be tied up neatly in a bow. But if we ask the questions in the first place, hopefully, one day someone will find answers. I am confident that the Collegian will not only continue to look for these answers in the future, but eventually find them, even when they are not black and white.