Before you criticize us, try doing our job
Published: Sunday, May 15, 2011
Updated: Sunday, May 15, 2011 15:05
I can't tell you the last time I was bored.
It feels pretty good to say that.
Sure, there have been times when I wish I could say I was, because that would mean there was nothing on my plate to stress over, but it still feels pretty good to say.
Since the beginning of last year, I've completed two internships and two semesters as one of the Central Florida Future's news editors.
Both of those things kept me very busy, and while I think internships are essential to any journalism student's learning process, I cannot begin to explain how much I've learned in my time as a news editor.
For those who aren't in the journalism program or may be unfamiliar with the way things work, you might be surprised to hear that our program doesn't preach taking on positions at the paper.
The Future is primarily used as a launching pad for students who are brand new to the program. Students typically write a few to several pieces for us so they can apply for internships. After completing an average of two to three internships, students often disappear from our paper before graduating, and that certainly makes producing a paper twice a week difficult for a small staff of editors.
With that said, I hope people inside and outside of our program, both students and professors, will try to better understand, or at least recognize, just how hard we work.
I think people often forget that in addition to working at the paper, most of us are also taking upper-level courses and holding down part-time jobs. If you're going to criticize us, at least take a moment to understand what we're dealing with and make it constructive.
As far as this summer's semester goes, coming up with content is going to be tough because many students go home and there's just not as much going on around campus.
With that in mind, I would like to invite members of the UCF community to reach out to us with your personal stories and other story tips, not just now, but year-round. UCF is the second-largest public university in the country, and it's just not possible for a staff of less than 10 editors and only a few regular writers to keep up with more than 56,000 students, faculty and staff.
While the students who typically fill the editor positions are beckoned in by exiting staff members who recognize a shared passion for journalism, anyone can apply and anyone can write for us; you don't need an invitation. Our most recent editor-in-chief, who also previously served as a photo editor, just graduated with a history degree. If that's not proof that the paper is open to more than just journalism students, I don't know what is.
If you pick up the paper or read us online and you happen to read my column, I hope you have learned something, if not how hard our staff works, at least how interested we are in giving your stories or your writing a chance.
If not now, we hope to see you in the future.