From the Editor's Desk

From the Editor’s Desk: My 139th, and Final, Byline

Leslie Owen | The PhoenixPhoenix editor-in-chief Katie Anthony holds a copy of The Phoenix with her final byline.

It doesn’t feel like I’m writing my last story for The Phoenix. I still vividly remember turning in my first-ever story about a controversy with a poke place near campus, anxiously waiting for comments from my editors to roll in. 

Then suddenly I was an editor, then, even more suddenly, I was editor-in-chief. Now, 138 bylines later and countless hours writing, editing, organizing for this paper I’m about to be done. 

Most people probably grieve the end of their college experience, but for me The Phoenix was my college experience. I emailed then-news editor Mary Norkol about writing for the paper before I even wrote a paper for class. I learned everything I know about journalism from my fellow Phoenix journalists and incredible advisers, Bob Herguth and Katie Drews. I have spent more hours in the newsroom this year than I’ve spent in the classroom, or honestly, in my apartment. 

It’s hard to distill what makes The Phoenix so special into a column. Everyone on the paper is vastly different, down to the music we prefer in the newsroom, but something about laying out pages in a windowless room in the basement of the SOC for eight hours every Tuesday brings us all together. 

There’s a lot of people on staff I have to thank, and I think I’ll probably have to do that in a separate senior goodbye next week. But I really couldn’t have gotten through this year without my two managing editors, Rylee Tan and Zack Miller, who have kept the ship that is The Phoenix afloat with me this year. 

And I couldn’t have gotten through my entire time on The Phoenix without our news editor Kayleigh Padar who sat next to me in every news meeting when we were terrified first-years, worked with me every day when we were editors in the news section and has been my sounding board as editor-in-chief. 

Seeing The Phoenix through four years, countless victories and struggles I know one thing for sure: this paper is vital to the university and there will always be students dedicated to making it run. We’ve told a lot of important stories this year — from dining hall issues to the university’s handling of sexual assault reports — and I know The Phoenix will continue to tell these stories.

Next year, The Phoenix will be led by Nicky Andrews as editor-in-chief. I remember when Nicky first joined the news section, eager to ask questions and take on stories — since then she’s grown into an incredible reporter, editor and leader. Deep breaths, you got this Nicky. 

Whenever I’m asked about my college experience, I’ll talk about The Phoenix. I couldn’t have imagined the impact this paper would have on my life when I picked up my first copy on a campus tour back in 2018, but joining it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I love you, Phoenix.

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