Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Letter FROM the (old) editor: Joining our alumni family

2020-21 EIC Evan Jones reflects on the end of his college run & the beginning of his next adventure

May 19, 2021
Evan Jones
Evan Jones —
Photo by Sylvia Jarrus | The State News

To State News Alumni:

I’ve finally got around to processing my undergraduate experience and I credit The State News for providing my most rewarding and fulfilling moments.

Here, I learned the ropes of journalism and wrestled with its problems big and small, minute and existential. I’ll never forget the challenges I faced, the connections I made, the stories I wrote and countless others I edited.

Sometimes you don’t realize how impactful any given experience is until it’s over. Other experiences, like for instance, living through a global pandemic, the magnitude is simply unavoidable.

Working as editor-in-chief was a mix of both. I certainly felt the importance of the role and the gravity of the position, but upon crossing the finish line I can’t help but wish I could do it over again with the benefit of hindsight.

Graduation provided one of my first opportunities to take a protracted break since 2019, and I’ve soaked in as much of it as I can. There is immense privilege in having the ability to stay busy throughout this time, but goodness gracious it has been intense.

The history of The State News is perhaps my favorite thing about the place. I was the nerd that went through archives to see what news was like in previous years and decades.

Amid economic crisis, I looked to 2008. Throughout protests for racial justice, I turned to 1968. It will forever be valuable to engage in a conversation between past and present, especially for journalists. Can you tell I had a major in history?

I’ve met many people who knew that news was their passion from an early age, I’m someone who stumbled in.

For now, I’m stumbling out. I’m lucky for receiving a job offer right out of college, but in the words of Roman philosopher Seneca, luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

The State News provided all I could ask of it and more. I feel confident in my preparation for skills that reach beyond journalism.

This was a weird year, to say the least. We published and printed from behind a screen in lieu of stemming the spread of COVID-19. I often find myself dwelling on mistakes more so than appreciating accomplishments, but when I reflect on my time as editor-in-chief, I’m proud of ourpersistence and resilience to meet this moment for our readers who relied on us for news and information about their community.

I’m excited for what comes next. I’m confident that my successor, Karly Graham, will reach new heights at the helm. The physical newsroom will come back for students with more standard reporting tactics at their disposal.

Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have led such a talented staff at an organization with more than a century of legacy behind it. Here’s to another century of State Newsers to follow.

Evan Jones

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