I am a slave to this newspaper.
It owns my soul. It tests my sanity on a nightly basis. And even as the hours dwell on and my hair becomes increasingly disheveled from a sort of stressed caressing that only my fellow staffers truly know, there’s still no questioning that – dammit – I love it.
It’s impossible to talk about my experience at TCU without mention of the Skiff. Entering junior year after transferring from a larger, generally more icky and steer-glorifying institution to the south, I needed a job to help pay the higher bills of a private school. As a journalism major, the student paper seemed to make the most sense for that purpose, and I was fortunate enough to be hired as a designer by telephone before I even arrived.
Little did I know that in just three short semesters I’d be editor-in-chief.
When I graduate May 9, it won’t be so much from the university, but from this newspaper. Nothing has taught me more about working relationships, or about management. Nothing has given me more expertise in partying, and nothing has given me so many good friends in such a short time.
Like everything on this earth, the Skiff is far from perfect. How often, for example, would one expect to have the namesake of the journalism school misspelled in a front-page photo caption on the very day of his symposium? But that happened – under my watch (sorry, Uncle Bob). And for those who have been “Skiffed,” I can only say that this is a student-run paper, and it’s going to have more goofs than a professional one, and with each mistake comes a genuine learning experience.
Of course, it’s not all bad, either. I’m proud of many of the journalists the Skiff has spurred on (most notably the aforementioned namesake), and the ones it continues to produce. Much of the work has been of a high quality and has made a difference in students’ lives in one way or another.
But what I will truly cherish from my time here is the people I have known, who have accompanied me to The Pub and been there for the good times and the bad. Each semester brought a few new ones. There are relationships born in a newsroom that I have every intention of keeping for my life’s duration. That’s nothing to sniff at.
It’s no secret that many newspapers are on the decline. That’s one of the reasons I’m happy when I see people reading the Skiff, even if they’re just doing the crossword to take the edge off of a morning lecture. I love newspapers, and I’m sad to see them die. For the sake of the university and the students, professors and staff who will forever be linked to it, I pray that the paper that has made such an impact on my life never suffers such a fate.
Editor-in-chief Max Landman is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Uvalde.