This isn’t your 9-5

Lakeidra Chavis/ Editor-in-Chief

Feb. 25, 2014


The Sun Star isn’t your 9-5 job.

It’s not the type of job that you can stop at the end of the day before you go home and resume when you return to work. It’s just not. And that’s what makes it worth it.

I started working for the Sun Star my freshmen year after I applied for 19 jobs, and no one called me back. I walked into the office and I told the editor I was a good writer, I didn’t even know a major in journalism existed. I started writing in the spring of 2012 and I’ve been writing ever since.

Last spring, I applied for editor-in-chief and no amount of journalism books, documentaries or talks with former editors could have prepared me for this job. It’s exhausting, not just physically, but mentally.

For this issue, we only had one reporter turn in an article that wasn’t with our regular content–such as columns, the blotter or the ASUAF recap. You can’t make a cover with one news story. You just can’t.

I cried, bought coffee and then we got back to work. And voila, the 17th issue of the Sun Star happened.

Is this the best issue we’ve ever had? No.

If this job teaches you anything, it’s that you can’t quit when things get tough. It’s the difficult times that each us the most lessons –like, if anything can go wrong, it will–and it will probably happen on a Sunday.

So yeah, sometimes we print less-than-stellar content and sometimes the paper has more typos than humanly possible, and that’s okay.

We work from noon until 11:30 at night–on good days. So if at the end of the night, the only thing we have missed is a few typos, I think we’ve done our job.

But this job isn’t without it’s perks. We’ve been able to cover breaking news such as a the power plant fire in the fall and the alumni director resigning last week.

I’ve experienced the absolutely craziness of calling the vice chancellor and the senior public information officer at 11 at night to get a quote for a story. What other job on campus allows you to do that?

I’ve had on-the-record and off-the-record interviews with people from the university. I’ve learned my share and more about what goes on beyond the pamphlets and lectures. And maybe that’s why I keep coming back–because I think that students deserve to know everything about our university, even if it’s the bad.

I’ve traveled to Anchorage and Washington for free, to attend journalism conferences. My reporters and I, have been able to meet reporters and photographers all the way from the Anchorage Daily News to the L.A. Times.

Not everyone can tell a story about how Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Barbara Davidson brought you to tears with her photodocumentay on L.A. gang violence.

I’ve learned so much real-life experience such as deadlines, constructive, albeit harsh, criticism, accepting your mistakes and being a leader. You can’t learn that at a desk or an hour and a half lecture.

Its all of the above that make this job worth it.

People don’t work here for the money, we’re not paid enough for this kind of job. We work here for all of the excitement, crazy and interesting people and stories that come along with newspapers.

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