Thanks for reading this year


Out of the hundreds of stories I’ve written for The Daily Illini, this is the most difficult one to put into words.

Over the past year, The Daily Illini staff has spent countless hours putting out 126 papers. We’ve written thousands of stories, which received millions of views from hundreds of thousands of readers.

But time’s up. This is my last publication as editor-in-chief. When we come back from spring break, Megan Jones will be editor-in-chief, and I’ll be a has-been.

I’ve been dreading (and looking forward to) this day for 365 days now. I credit almost everything I know about journalism to The Daily Illini. The people I work with on a daily basis are amazing. They would do anything for a good story, and I would do anything for them. I’ve met some of my best friends here, and it’s sad to see it all come to an end.

But the thing that brought me the most joy over the past year was seeing someone reading The Daily Illini — people laughing, people learning, people crying.

I want to thank you for the opportunity to do this. You didn’t have to read anything, but you did. You chose to spend your time reading the things we poured our hearts and souls into.

You validated everything we did. We can write and write and write, but none of it matters unless you read it. And you did.

You read about the controversy surrounding Steven Salaita. You read about the process of finding a new University president and adding a new medical school. You read about the struggles of the football and men’s basketball teams. You went to us to find out what to do this weekend. You read our opinions, even if you didn’t necessarily agree.

We’re just a bunch of college kids trying to learn how to write, how to edit, how to put out a newspaper. We’re learning news judgment. We’re learning storytelling. We’re learning how to manage each other. We’re learning how to be adults. And we’re trying to balance it all with classes.

The Daily Illini is in good hands going forward. A young staff is taking over. They have a lot to learn, but they’re extremely talented and dedicated. I know they’ll be able to continue the momentum we’ve built up this year.

Well, I guess, 126 papers later, that’s it — that’s all I’ve got. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have.

Thanks for reading.

Johnathan is a senior in Media.

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