By: Meghan Hudson, Editor-in-Chief
Getting to be the editor-in-chief for The Towerlight during our transition from print to online has been one of the hardest but most rewarding experiences in my life so far. As crazy as it is to admit, sometimes even more exhausting than those long days and nights spent creating print issues every Monday.
Reflecting on what will be 100 years of production in 2021 plus bookending our print era with this issue, I can’t help but think of two people who I’d say are on all of our alumni’s minds as well.
This paper would not have seen the successes it had, at least in the last 20+ years, without our walking search engine himself, Mike Raymond, our General Manager. From rushing all the way across the Bay to hand deliver missing pages to our printer the night before issues hit the stands, to supporting our team in the office every single week, he’s truly the glue that binds us all together. Sarah Breitenbach has also been an amazing mentor and supporter of our paper. Formerly our editor-in-chief in 2003, she now serves as the President of our publisher, Baltimore Student Media. Likewise for all publications, it’s the people behind the scenes who serve as the backbone to the content you see.
There are of course many more people to recognize. Whether they were a columnist for one week or an editor-in-chief, every paper was filled by the work of these individuals. Special shout out to the editors; putting together a newspaper, especially for those of you who did so before we turned to software, it’s a major production to handle. It was exhausting and stressful, but from what I hear the mass Chinese food orders made it all worth it, and in my experience goofing off in the office was always a time I looked forward to.
When I first became the editor-in-chief at the beginning of this pandemic, learning that I’d be heading into the position without weekly print issues was daunting … I mean we’re a newspaper, what do we do now? I knew nothing else.
Our first semester online, functioning with a brand new, smaller editorial board we definitely got our butts kicked. Our process was shaky and our writers were experiencing major school-related and emotional burnout having a semester online, from home.
Huge shoutout to Grace Coughlan, who is now our Senior Editor, and Victoria Nicholson, our former Art Director and Marketing Manager from 2017 to 2021. We put the pedal to the metal in terms of restructuring our entire production. Every tiny aspect of producing an online newspaper — outreach, training, organization, communication, branding, editing, etc., we re-evaluated and made major changes to, all while #StayingAtHome.
The reason I share all of this isn’t to brag about the work we put in, but to paint a picture of what the future of The Towerlight looks like. We have nailed down training and production processes. We’ve studied social media algorithms and expanded to bring on two social media managers. We’ve figured out how to connect with the student body online — and that’s where they all are anyways.
I’m not far removed from my first year of college and the younger staff members continue to surprise me with their ideas and tech savviness. The future’s looking bright for us.
Thank you to all of our alumni who submitted notes and pictures for our final print issue. Let’s get back on campus and get back out there, journalists!