Letter from the Editor: Thank you, Beaver Nation

Outgoing Editor-in-Chief Riley Youngman and incoming Editor-in-Chief Lauren Sluss stand in the SEC Plaza. Sluss will take over in the fall, while Joe Wolf (not pictured) will oversee the three upcoming summer editions of the Baro.

Riley Youngman, Outgoing Editor-in-Chief

Gratitude. If I had to narrow my experience as Editor-in-Chief down to one word, it would be gratitude. 

Over the past year, we have done a lot here at The Baro. We have transitioned from a daily to a weekly paper. While this change took some time to adjust to (both as a staff and as an audience), I believe we have hit our stride and are closing in on what our new identity as a publication is. Our daily news coverage has moved online, but we have implemented daily News Blasts as a way to further broadcast stories. We have also created more multimedia content then ever before, and our engagement on social media is increasing steadily. We’ve even won some national awards. This is exactly where I wanted to be when I took on this position last June.

Yet, the journey to this point was not always an easy one. As I wrote a year ago in my incoming letter, I was likely going to encounter failure at some point over my term—and fail I did. On more than one occasion, too. Among others, one of the biggest mistakes was the printing of the headline on our Nov. 14 issue’s cover as “Rhetoric and reactoin.” As you probably know, “reactoin” is not a word, but we published this on 12,000 printed issues. Oops. 

Sticking to the theme of learning from failure, we were able to use this issue as a way to recruit over 20 applications for a new copy editor position, and in turn brought on two new staff members. One of them, Joe Wolf, quickly grew in the organization and is now set to take over The Baro as the 2017 summer editor-in-chief. While of course I wish “reactoin” had not been printed, I could not be happier with the way we rebounded as a staff. Above all else, I hope my staff has been able to adopt and understand this healthy attitude toward failure into their lives.

As I move on to my next adventure here at Oregon State University, I want to thank everyone for this opportunity. This year has been one of the most challenging, trying and stressful of my life, but it has also been one of the most rewarding. I leave now with fresh perspectives, new ways of thinking and relationships that I know will last my lifetime. Thank you to my entire team (who I could NOT have done any of this without), my advisers and those that have supported me in anyway. Most of all, thank you Beaver Nation for sharing your time, your thoughts and your stories with me. You have trusted us to listen and to share your lives with our audience. It has been an honor and a pleasure serving you.

You are in good hands with the staff that is taking over. Joe Wolf and Lauren Sluss have worked tirelessly this year to learn and I have no doubt they will accomplish more than I can imagine.

I part with one last reflection—at the end of the day, remember every one of us has a unique story, and each one deserves to be heard. Continue to rely on The Baro and Orange Media Network to be an outlet for compelling, engaging and inclusive story telling. 

You have a voice, ensure it is heard.

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