What we’ve learned School year in retrospect

Katie Bultman

It has been one crazy year for The North Wind. It feels like just yesterday that I was told I received the sports editor position. That being said, there still happened to be a few weeks that seemed to drag on. That’s life, though, and all-in-all this has been a pretty good year.

Katie Bultman
Katie Bultman

This year, the paper went through a lot of changes; but so did the staff. I witnessed several new editors take desk positions, including the editor in chief.

I witnessed writers break away from their confinements and find their own personal style. I witnessed editors in frustration, as their coworkers and peers edged them on with motivation. I witnessed new friendships being made in the newsroom. I witnessed The North Wind breaking some of the biggest stories in town. I witnessed our staff learning from our mistakes.

I witnessed unity, I witnessed a team effort and I witnessed improvement.We have truly grown as a publication, as writers, as editors and as people. We made improvements this year in the style of our paper.

We changed the nameplate, we developed new stories and we worked diligently to be creative with the layout each week. We encouraged new writers to join, writers whose hidden talents wouldn’t have otherwise been noticed.

Our accomplishments did not come without failure. We can take a lot from our mistakes by turning them into lessons learned.

We learned that facts need to be triple, and sometimes quadruple, checked before we run big stories.

We learned that deadlines aren’t there for looks. We learned that sometimes, we need to be tough on our writers, because we want them to succeed and we want to prepare them for the real world.

We learned that a little friendly competition within the newsroom can actually be a great thing for the workplace atmosphere. We learned that you can’t make everyone happy, but if you put good work in and you’re honest, you can certainly try.

Our readers have clearly seen our mistakes as well as our accomplishments. There is one thing, however, our readers could not see. Something hidden behind the closed doors of the newsroom.

Something quite invisible if you aren’t in the newsroom on a daily basis.That something quite invisible is the hard work that our staff puts in each and every day.

It is the stress we face in the newsroom that comes alongside our homework and our jobs, alongside the time we must put aside for summer job applications and the time we spend preparing for life after college.

Sometimes, it is easier for our readers to look at all our mistakes and say that we are amateurs.

I know. I’ve done it.

I’ve criticized hometown papers for small mistakes I’ve seen.

I’ve criticized newspapers for large mistakes I’ve seen.

I know that if I had never witnessed all the hard work of The North Wind staff, I would be one to also jump on the criticisms at the slightest mistakes.

But we aren’t amateurs.

We are students. We are learning. We make mistakes.

They aren’t acceptable, but they are a part of the business.

The North Wind staff is constantly in the office, out in the field or on the telephone getting sources and writing articles.

I see them, daily, working to find the best stories, working to obtain complete accuracy and working to tell the truth of the story without burning bridges.

I see them in the newsroom on Wednesday evenings, sometimes until one in the morning, working to finish the paper.

I see them rushing around campus to trade out papers that were printed incorrectly.

I see them admitting their mistakes and working to fix the situation.

So high five North Wind staff, you’ve had a great year and a successful addition to a strong tradition.