by Matt Benoit
The title I hold on this staff, “Editor-In-Chief,” might make me sound—at least to some—like a rather prestigious and important person. To some extent, I suppose, this is true.
Well, at least the important part. After all, for each issue of the Horizon, I assign the stories, write at least one news or feature story (if we have a smaller staff, I usually end up writing more), as well as a humor column. I’m responsible for knowing and talking with key college administrators and keeping up to date with all college news.
In addition, I compile the campus briefs, write this column, and not only have the final say over headlines and captions, but of all content we run and its placement in each issue.
Now, that doesn’t mean I can do whatever the hell I want. Well, technically I can, but there are limits. My idea of changing the Horizon into a “pop-up book” publication never did come to fruition.
But even with all that, I’m definitely not prestigious. Believe it or not, being editor of a community college newspaper really isn’t as glamorous as you might think. Sure, I get an $800 stipend for the quarter, but if you broke that down to an hourly wage, you’d probably find it illegal. There is no “journalist’s clubhouse” where I go to sip martinis and converse in intelligent, witty banter with Tom Brokaw.
But there are perks: We sometimes get free stuff, including tickets to drama productions. Also, we occasionally receive books in the mail, although these are more likely to be on the New York Times’ “Worst Seller List” than “Best Seller List.”
I’ve also had the privilege of working with a number of beautiful and talented women on our staff, even if the farthest I’ve ever gotten with any of them is editing their story drafts.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I’m not the most important person on our staff. In fact, no one is.
This newspaper is always a group effort. Every one of our staff members put great energy into making sure each issue is as good as it can be, and each person has their own responsibilities that make them a critical part of getting the paper finished.
Without a proofreader, mistakes would go unnoticed. Without an online editor, we would not have a functional Web site. Without a photo editor, we would be lacking for the photos that can often help tell the stories as good as any words. Without our production editor, there wouldn’t be a paper to proof. Without assistant editors, the editor would lose his mind. And while I assign the stories, our staff is responsible for coming up with them.
I’ve served as editor of the Horizon three times, and this issue will be my last in that role. At times, I think I’ve done an adequate job, and at other times I feel I haven’t. Overall, I’ve sincerely enjoyed it, and have learned a lot.
Here’s to wishing our next editor all the best.