Farewell to all my readers, editors, teachers

By Abby Paeth, Editor-in-Chief

At the beginning of my term, I wrote about making mistakes. Something that I have always been afraid of is not knowing the right answer when confronted with a problem, and if I’m being honest, sometimes I really don’t know the right answer. But I guess, in a way, that’s what journalism is — not knowing and finding out.

Something I don’t think a lot of people know is that working for The Daily Illini comes with a lot of added pressure. As students, we are given this platform a lot of people listen to, and we influence a community of tens of thousands of students and citizens. That comes with an enormous amount of responsibility, especially for a college newspaper.

Over the past year, I faced challenges beyond anything I could have expected — things I could have never prepared for. Some days were extremely hard and filled with disbelief, but looking back, I wouldn’t trade a single moment of my time at The Daily Illini for anything.

My leadership style is that of a teacher, and when I started as editor-in-chief I thought I would be doing a lot of teaching. I was surprised to discover I did more learning. I learned from my staff, I learned from my predecessors and I learned from all of you — the readers.

It’s really hard work, but it’s work that I love, and it’s work I have watched so many passionate people do over the past four years. Journalism is for the people, something I held very true during my time as editor. We worked hard not for ourselves, not for a good story or clip, but for you.

Sure, we’ve made mistakes, but we’ve learned from them. A journalist has a huge platform with the power to influence and inform — but we don’t know everything, no one does. What’s important is that we attempt to better ourselves and better society.

Friday at 5 p.m. I will complete my tenure here at The Daily Illini. I have so many mixed emotions about leaving this company. After all, it’s the reason I came to the University in the first place. Kelly Johnson will take my place with an entirely new staff, and I am confident they will continue to work tirelessly for the people, upholding the same standards and values that so many before have tried to maintain.

Now as I finish my time here, I want to offer my extreme gratitude for everything both this company and the campus community has given me as editor-in-chief.

Thank you for teaching, thank you for supporting, thank you for criticizing and most importantly thank you for reading.

Abby is a senior in Media

[email protected]