These are my people

Heather Bryant/Sun Star Editor-in-Chief
May 1, 2012

It’s late on a Sunday night.

There’s a big dry erase board at the front of the room listing every piece of content slated for the issue.

Our layout editor asks me how big the story on the concert is. A reporter asks how to attribute a quote to an interview that happened via email.

I shoot the photo editor with a nerf gun to get her attention. I need to know what the cover photo is so we can work on the tagline and the teasers for the three stories being promoted on the cover.

Someone’s laughing on the couch. Everyone has Facebook open and two or three chats going, usually with people who are also in the room.

There are reporters or photographers at the computers revising their stories, tweaking the wording, or captioning their photos.

We talk over each other, yelling questions across the room. Sometimes there’s music, other times it’s someone reading out updates about a news event that’s happening.

There is nothing more exciting to me than a newsroom running at full speed in the hours winding down to publication.

These are my people.

When I first started at UAF, I was a wildlife biology major. But I learned that just because you are like something doesn’t mean you will be good at it.

“Where should I go?” I wondered after failing chemistry for the third time.

Fast forward four years and I’ve completed all the requirements for a journalism degree and I’m the editor of The Sun Star.

This will be my last editorial.

It’s been an honor and I’ve truly enjoyed the experience. I have learned more here than in any class I have taken at UAF.

We often joke that it’s a crazy loud little family that we’re all a part of.

We don’t know yet who will be editor next year. The hiring process is ongoing.

But I can assure you that there is a dedicated group of reporters and photographers and future editors that will serve you next year.

These are my people.  They’re your people too.

It’s not an easy job. No one here gets paid for all the hours required to create a paper. Late nights are common.

But the challenges in each story vary and I think that’s what keeps us coming back. When you report on a community, you get to know it on very close terms. Its history, its traditions, its people and its future are all part of the story of UAF.

Ultimately, our story is all we have. I’m glad to have played a small part in helping to telling the stories of UAF.

I’m also incredibly honored that The Sun Star is part of my story.

So goodbye and good luck. Keep reading The Sun Star or, even better, come write for it.

To the editing team. I love that to all of you I can say the words “hey, remember that time when…” and a great story will follow.

Kelsey: You have been an awesome partner in editing, especially in the wee hours in the morning when we both get really giddy and laugh over everything.

Galen: Whether it’s the jokes or your encyclopedic knowledge of memes, you make laying out the paper fun.

Erin: When I shot your computer with the nerf gun and it ricocheted into you, that still counted as a hit. Just like when you shot me in the face for eating a cinnamon twist.

Jeremy: You kind of have two different personalities. Facebook chat and real life. Both are awesome.

Andrew: Remember that time we both had to wear Kevlar to cover a story? That was so cool.

Lynne: You have been an amazing mentor and friend. You have made such a big difference in my life. Thanks for teaching me how to be a journalist.

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