We as a publication have a duty to the reader to always provide factual, interesting and deep insight into the school and the community we are a part of.
It isn’t easy running a college newspaper, but the reward of daily publications always makes it worth the time. We are the gatekeepers of information and it is my responsibility as the Editor-in-Chief to make sure we continue to provide content, no matter the circumstances.
In the 1940s, when young Americans that should have been studying, going to ball games, and attending events like us were off fighting one of the bloodiest wars in history, the Daily Helmsman still found a way.
There was no internet, laptops, or cellphones to allow them to find an alternative method of writing a story. All they had was a pen and paper and perhaps a typewriter. There was a paper shortage due to the war, but the perseverant, young journalists knew there was still a duty that needed to be fulfilled. If not them, then who would do it? They wrote stories by hand and distributed it throughout campus to keep the paper alive.
The Daily Helmsman has withstood every major American and global event for 89 years up until this point. We are facing a new dilemma and the most unique circumstance we have had in decades.
A global pandemic has swept across the globe and affected many of our daily lives, with campus being almost empty and many still locked away at home. I was immensely disappointed to have to pause midway through my first semester as editor and at the time I even worried I may never return since I am now a senior.
I didn’t know at the time if we would be back in person for classes after a month or 2 years. Everything was so uncertain, and it was a really tough time for me as I was enjoying the best job I have ever held at this point of my life, and I even worked for the Memphis Grizzlies.
I give all credit to my General Manager Candy Justice, who has been with the Helmsman since before I was born. She has fought for this paper and because of that, we will not be the generation to that quits on this paper.
Looking back at those resilient journalists in the 40s, I know in my heart that we have no excuse with everything accessible to us in 2020. We have all the resources to produce news and fulfill our duties as journalists and I want to be a part of that history.
In the future, if something in the world inevitably happens that could shake this paper again, I want to be looked at with the 1940s staff as the generation that also didn’t give up on their readers, and that is what we are going to do. The way of which we will continue to put out papers will be different, but that is okay.
We find a way to adapt and still produce, that is the responsibility of all great story tellers. We will now only put out a paper once a week, as you may have been able to tell already, and still do our best to release magazines as well.
I credit my hardworking and passionate staff as well because it is not all just me. We have a staff that shares the same ambitions that I do, and we will not let the Helmsman die with us.