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Take advantage of your time here and join us in building the community

Three years ago, I became a part of something that, at the time, I never imagined would become such an integral part of my life.

Like many freshman, I wasn’t quite sure what I expected from my college experience and, at first, I was a bit dumbstruck by the magnitude of it all – going to school in a big city, working my first real job and somehow trying to make an impact on campus in some sort of meaningful way.

As it turns out, joining the college newspaper was one of the best things that ever happened to me and really has helped give me the college experience that I always wanted. I’ve gained life-long friends, colleagues that I both respect and admire and, very importantly, the skills that I hope will help land me a job when I graduate.

Furthermore, I’ve also come to better understand what journalism actually means and how important the readers are to one of the core tenants of our mission at The Signal: to “provide, in a fair and accurate manner, news of interest and significance to the Georgia State University community and serve as a forum for the expression of ideas of members of that community.”

We’re not the university’s PR office, nor are we out to get anyone. Our job is to report the news, pure and simple.

As the new editor-in-chief, I want to formally make a promise to you, the readers, that I’ll do everything in my power to stay true to that mission because I believe good journalism is a prerequisite for a proper civil and democratic society.

Following our redesign and transition to an online-first publishing strategy with our new website last year, we’ve seen our circulation go up, our social media followers increase and we’ve taken home more than our fair share of awards.

But it’s also not just about the awards we win or the amount of newspapers we print; it’s about producing quality journalism that truly reveals the heart of what it means to be a member of the university community, for better or for worse.

And it’s also about providing an environment where our staffers can both succeed and, yes, sometimes fail. For many of our staffers, from our writers to our photographers to our graphic designers, like me when I joined the paper, it’s their first time working in an actual newsroom, one that actually pays its staff.

We also take in majors of all kinds and people of all backgrounds, helping them improve their skills regardless of their experience, and I really think that is one of our greatest strengths because that diversity reflects the community we report on.

Sure, sometimes we make mistakes – and we’ve certainly had our ups and downs in the past year – but we’ve also produced a product that I’m proud to call ours.

Let’s see if we can keep that tradition up.

 

Note: A version of this letter ran first in print in the June 11 “Incept Issue” for incoming freshman and transfer students. Copies of that issue are available throughout campus during the summer and in the offices of The Signal at 200 University Center.

About Chris Shattuck 9 Articles
Chris Shattuck is an award-winning media professional and graduate of Georgia State University. Chris spent four years as a reporter with The Signal, and as the paper's editor-in-chief from 2013-2014, Chris pioneered the expansion of the paper's coverage through a highly-successful daily online-first publishing strategy and marketing push. To contact him with job offers or story ideas, email him directly at cjshattuck@gmail.com

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