One last layout: reflecting on my days as Chanticleer editor

This is my official goodbye to an old friend. I started working at The Chanticleer when it had a few hundred likes on Facebook and a big office in Self Hall.

Even though the office is smaller now, the likes continue to grow.

The Chanticleer is taking its place among all newspapers, pushing its online presence.

Even though JSU’s newspaper costs nothing to the public to read, and doesn’t generate profit of its own, it still needs to push its online  presence like papers that do generate a profit.

It’s as Dr. John Hammett, Dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies said at the communication department’s banquet last week, “This department teaches skills that you’ll need in your profession.”

I definitely can’t argue with that. Working as editor, I learned there is no paper without leadership, and there is no leadership without mutual respect.

The same can be said of any group. There may be a “group leader,” but leadership means nothing if no one respects one another.

I learned this fact last October, the same month I learned how much The Chanticleer actually means to me.

Many of the paper’s former writers link online portfolios to our website, including myself and my editorial staff. When I discovered The Chanticleer’s website was deleted, I was devastated.

After a week of investigating online forums, WordPress restored the website with all the content still intact. When this happened, The Chanticleer transformed from a student project to a personal one.

In my time here I’ve had the opportunity to speak to Rick Bragg, my role model.

I’ve listened to a world-renowned journalist speak at the Ayers Lecture; I’ve seen a university president retire.

I’ve written about a data breach, and ran across campus to take pictures of vandalism before it was cleaned.

I got the opportunity to speak to business owners in Jacksonville. I even got to produce the issue when JSU went to the national championships.

And this one, my last issue, the one where JSU inaugurates a new president.

Teamwork is the biggest thing that one can learn working in student media. The Chanticleer works closely with WLJS, the campus radio, the other half of JSU’s student media.

When it comes to applying skills, the student media combine, and concentrations don’t mean as much. Working with such a tight-knit group of students results in friendships that could last a lifetime.

It feels like only a short time ago that the former editor, Kara Coleman was teaching me the ropes of managing a student newspaper. Now, I’m getting ready to teach the next editor how to do the same thing.

I’ve seen a lot of chairs in this office empty, and now it’s time for mine to empty.

Marie McBurnett

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