I started working as a reporter for the Kernel the summer before I started classes at UK. While that was fun, it would prove to pale next to my experience this past year as one of the editors. When I was asked to come on as an editor, I was immediately excited to have a more meaningful role at the paper. I had no idea then how much of a difference in my professional and personal life being on staff would make.
When I was offered the opinions editor position, I saw that I had a unique platform to start a conversation at UK and hopefully influence change. While I love reporting news and am excited to enter my news reporting career, I thoroughly enjoyed having a chance to discuss and analyze important topics on campus in my opinion columns.
I always find myself coming back to one of my favorite quotes by Arthur Miller: “A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.” My first editorial last year quoted this, and I wrote that we are a campus talking to each other. Now, I close out my editorship with that same quote. And I’m proud of the conversation we’ve had.
My goal going in was to tackle topics that nobody wanted to talk about. And we did. Our columnists talked about discrimination, feminism, and politics. We talked about pieces of legislation and analyzed how it could help or hurt people. Our editorials tackled mental health, lawsuits, and immigration issues. I feel that we have used this platform to its full potential this year.
As a whole, I am so proud of this desk and what we’ve done this past year. I’ve pushed myself and our desk. And we’ve produced award-winning, thought-provoking work. What’s more than that, I have loved every minute with my Kernel family. We’ve grown closer and closer, and that’s something that’s priceless.
The next opinions editor is Brianna Stanley, who has written Environmental Friday columns for the last two semesters. I’ve been continually proud of that series and her work with it. I’m ecstatic to see what she does with this desk next year as its leader. I’m sure she will raise the bar and raise hell (my new favorite way of talking about the press, thanks to former Kentucky Press Association president Peter Baniak).
As for me, I’ll be raising hell elsewhere. Peace out.