The things you don’t see

Kerry Greenstein

Every Tuesday and Thursday morning many of us arrive on campus, or leave our residence halls and pick up the latest copy of The George-Anne. Once a semester we find the latest editions of the Reflector and Miscellany magazines on the racks. At other times, we may find Student Media’s many other publications. We pick them all up, we read them, and we critique them. We see the mistakes, we see the typos, we see when the wrong information or the wrong quote is printed and we think “they can do better than this, can’t they.”

Yes, we see all of those things, but I want to share what you don’t see. For the past year, I have had the opportunity to serve as the interim director of Student Media. It wasn’t always easy or fun. In fact, it was often challenging, frustrating and stressful, but I have learned a lot about journalism and the media. More importantly, I have learned about the students who work for Student Media. They are talented, motivated, and dedicated students who take great pride in the work they do to keep our campus community informed about life on campus. What you don’t see are the hours they spend working on stories, laying out pages, and selling the advertisements we all take for granted. You don’t see the big story that fell through just before deadline, the photos that are too dark to print no matter what they do to try and fix it, and the key source who just doesn’t return an email or phone call. These unexpected things occur regularly and impact their ability to put out the high quality paper we all hope for.

The other thing you don’t see are their weekly meetings where they decide what story ideas are worth covering, and which are important enough for the front page. You don’t see the weekly critique where they go through each paper, page by page, and discuss details that most of us probably never even notice. Believe me, they are much harder on themselves than any of us could ever be.

So rather than sitting back, critiquing them, and judging them I encourage you to go see for yourself what Student Media is all about. Tryouts are next week, so take advantage of the opportunity to be on the inside. If you think you can do a better job, go join them. They want the paper to be better, and if you can help make that happen, they will gladly welcome you. Otherwise, give them a break. They are learning and growing with each edition, and I assure you that they are working hard and trying their best. It’s not an easy job, and it takes a lot of courage to put your work in front of the entire community twice a week. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want everyone judging me and my work like that.