Over my university career and two years working at The Navigator, I’ve had the pleasure to study, collaborate, and work not only with the diverse community in the Creative Writing department (poets, fictionists, playwrights, journalists), but I’ve also had the chance to work with people in different departments, including Graphic Design and Media Studies.
Working alongside others with such a range of creative talent is fun, and it’s fascinating comparing the similarities and differences in our creative processes. One thing that rings true for anyone in the arts is that we have an unwavering love and need for what we do, or we simply just wouldn’t put ourselves through the struggle of trying to make a living out of it.
We live in an era of unpaid internships and competitive creative markets, where people will do virtually anything to gain experience. Writers, photographers, graphic designers, and people in other creative fields are constantly being asked to work for free, but it’s important to remember that our work has value. Our skill has value. Our time has value.
We’ve all heard people say that in a highly competitive creative industry you have to be the best in your business to make it. Well, sure, it pays to be good at what you do, but to succeed, I imagine you really have to be so much more than that: you have to be dedicated and you have to be innovative. I can’t count how many times I’ve been scoffed at for heading into a “dying industry.” Of course, I also can’t count how many accountants, bankers, or tellers have divulged to me how “they always wanted to write” after I tell them my major. It’s a risk you take, I guess.
Albeit, do people actually believe that journalism is going to die out? It seems rather like it’s trying to rediscover its footing in the digital age. More than ever, people are seeking their news online, and print advertising, the force keeping print editions alive, is taking the blow. And I don’t think anyone really knows how to make a profit from online advertising yet. The face of journalism may inevitably be changing, but it’s up to our new generation of journalists to make sure we retain our standards in the process. Otherwise, it will just be all advertorial and buzzwords (YOU WON’T BELIEVE what has happened to the news industry! <click here to find out>).
In my humble opinion, I think we’ve done a great job during the last two volumes of The Navigator, as far as putting out an overall quality student newspaper goes. Fortunately, The Navigator still has the means to keep our print edition alive and resources to hire the staff we need to make our paper good. That said, I feel extremely privileged to have worked with our staff, as the paper wouldn’t be half of what it is if they didn’t put the time, effort, and love into what they do. This is what I feel really shows in our newspaper: hard work from a handful of dedicated students who realize they’re the future of their industry.
As I’m getting closer to the end of the year and graduation, I’m realizing that it’s kind of scary to be going into the media industry right now. But being part of this newspaper for the past two years has been really fulfilling. And working alongside awesome peers makes me realize how we’re going to be the future of this in flux industry. We’re going to be the people who find a way to make this transition period, this digital revolution in media, work. We are the future. It has been an awesome two years here at the paper. A heartfelt thank you to our contributors, our readers, and everyone who was part of it.
See ya later, Navigator.