Letter From The Editor: ‘I’m Still Standing’

3 min read As I am writing this, it has been one year, 11 months and 14 days since I took my position here at The Tartan as the Editor-in-Chief, and it has only gotten crazier and more exciting since then.

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As I am writing this, it has been one year, 11 months and 14 days since I took my position here at The Tartan as the Editor-in-Chief, and it has only gotten crazier and more exciting since then.

Back in 2017, while it’s unfortunate to say, The Tartan was not at a good place at all. In fact, I would say it was pretty dead as far as a campus publication can be, let alone a newspaper. There was no design, structure, communication, online presence, editing or really anything. It was just there.

When the Highlander Student Media committee hired me as The Tartan’s new Editor-in-Chief, I was just a freshman at the end of my first semester at Radford. I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I felt up for it. I mean, I didn’t realize it was a paid position until a few days after I got hired. I was going to do all of it for free! Insane right?

Highlander Student Media
Photo Credit: (Geoff White) Highlander Student Media making a quick stop at Burger King while traveling to the Fall 2019 National College Media Convention in Washington D.C.

However, looking back on the sheer growth The Tartan has been through in the last two years is astounding. The Tartan went from seven to 35 newsstands in and around the Radford campus, finally finalized the design of the paper, reached a staff of more than 20 people, broke more into hard news stories and became a useful and informative newspaper for the Radford community. 

The first three semesters since I became Editor-in-Chief were like dog years. The Tartan went through fast changes; there was a re-birth, a toddler/child period, and then some time as a teenager that just wanted to see how long this organization could stay afloat. Now, it’s a proud and prosperous young adult fighting the good fight and trying to be unique.

As the Editor-in-Chief and a full-time student (some people forget that), this semester threw a lot at me, and it was difficult, but anything worth fighting for is never easy. The purpose of The Tartan is to be a newspaper, and gosh darn it, this semester it did just that and more.

I couldn’t be more proud of and thankful for the support and work brought forth from my editors, reporters, photographers, artists and contributors. Without them, this newspaper wouldn’t exist as it does today. I know if you ask anyone that knows me, “Where is Dylan at?” they would likely say “the office” every time because I never leave. But I ask, what’s there to edit if there’s no content?

It’s The Tartan staff that goes out, on the little free time they have, to report, capture and record stories to share with the community to inform, or at times entertain. It’s with these stories that we as a community can be a better-informed public and have open discussions on sometimes hard topics that some people might take offense to; however, that’s just the job of a journalist.

The Tartan Team
Photo Credit: (Roc-TV) Back row L-R: Sierra Bradley, Sarah Steffey, Jeremy Moser, Aaron Coopersmith, Dustin Staples, Wesley Wallace, & Dylan Lepore. Front row L-R: Leigh Anne Kelley, Caitlin Billman, Margaret Pittman, Camden Lazenby, Hailey Scherer, & Jordan Bennett.

“Journalism can never be silent: That is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air,” said Henry Anatole Grunwald.

P.S. The newspapers didn’t steal themselves. 

See you next semester,
Dylan Lepore 20′
dlepore1@radford.edu