Once a journalist, always a journalist

Campus Times
December 12, 1997

by LaShanda D. Maze
Managing Editor


How do you say goodbye to something that has almost involuntarily become a part of your life, whether you liked it or not? That, with every pulse and beat of your heart, it somehow always remained with you.

This is the last issue I will ever put out of the Campus Times. This is it for me, and as you are reading this column, I am hanging my pen and pad up and clearing out the box.

Gone are the stressful Thursdays where we scurry to put the paper to bed hopefully before 5 p.m., the drawn out Wednesdays when the pages are first laid out, the hectic Tuesdays when first edits are done and the worry-wart Mondays about stories that are not yet in and the satisfaction that only comes on Friday when you see all the work put into print.

So I should be happy, right? Practically jumping with joy of course. In a way I am, but I feel as if something precious is being taken away from me and it is.

At first I did not think anything of it when I joined as a staff writer. I could not wait for the semester to be over so I could stop this endless, painful, utterly stressful process. But something kept me there and I moved up to become the features editor where I saw a part of the paper process I had never seen before and I fell in love.

Many of you may not understand what goes on in the newsroom. We come in and out, sometimes linger in the Spot and you may know our faces, but you do not understand our obsession with the paper.

I did not understand it myself at first. I am a broadcast television major; we are not supposed to know how to write, or so the rumor goes. But somehow this hectic process grew on me. It became part of me.

It was a part of what I wanted to do in life. It gave me a rush every time something exciting or extremely newsworthy came about. It prepared me for what I want to do as a career path. It is not just a college newspaper.

An ordinary college newspaper would not spend the summer at every court date of the former Associated Student Federation (ASF) Forum's treasurer when he was accused of embezzlement just so it could get every possible thing right. Just any old college newspaper would not take responsibility for its actions by correcting mistakes when it was wrong.

A regular college newspaper would not back down from the "powers that be" just because it was scared of the ramifications, including those in its own department.

If a story needed to be done, it got done. We take our jobs as "watchdogs" over campus affairs seriously, as ASF probably knows all too well.

That is one of the things that I will miss most about Campus Times because it enforced my belief in the powers of journalism, the far reaches of the checks and balances system and instilled in me a sense of pride in the field of my choice.

Ever since my first visit to the University of La Verne, I knew I wanted to be a part of the Communications Department, that there I could use my creativity. And I have. I have grown in the ranks of the Campus Times staff to move up to managing/news editor and the department of television remains an open sea of opportunities for me to conquer.

Although I knew that I eventually wanted to go into television, I first wanted to be a journalist and what better way to get started than by going through the grind of interviewing and finding stories for the newspaper.

Although you may no longer see my face on this page or my byline, remember that I will always be a journalist.

LaShanda D. Maze, a junior broadcast journalism major, is managing editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at mazel@ulv.edu