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Final thoughts as editor-in-chief of Eagle News

Serving as editor-in-chief for Eagle News was something I didn’t even realize I wanted until a year ago. If you were to tell me freshman year that I was going to apply for this position and then end up getting it, I would have laughed in your face.

But as I sit here, reflecting on the day I submitted the application, I realize now that I had always wanted this position and was just too scared and nervous to even try.

Emily Ford

Emily Ford. (EN Photo / Brad Young)

I, and probably many others, thought I was going to be the production manager of Eagle News until I graduated.

I am so happy it didn’t end up that way.

My four years with Eagle News have proven that a career in journalism is something I want to pursue. Being able to provide the community with ethical, fair and well-rounded reporting is something I didn’t know I was passionate about until now.

But these four short years have shown me that Eagle News has the ability to be a platform for accountability journalism and a forum of discussion. My goal this year was to make Eagle News one of the loudest voices here on campus, and I truly believe I accomplished that.

Now, with that role comes responsibility. When privileged with a platform that reaches a wide audience, it is my job as editor- in-chief, to teach and guide my staff to be ethical and fair while reporting.

It is also the duty of the newspaper to keep the community and campus accountable by digging a little deeper and not taking no as an answer.

To my Eagle News staff, I encourage you to continue demanding accountability from the students, staff and yourselves. I have had an amazing year working with everyone, and I don’t regret a thing. I am proud of what everyone has accomplished, and it was an honor to watch everyone grow into amazing journalists. I am confident that everyone will continue to push Eagle News in the right direction and strive for greatness.

As for the FGCU community, I challenge you to utilize Eagle News as a forum for discussion rather than an easy target for criticism. Instead of commenting on our Facebook that you disagree with something, write about it. Have your voice be heard. Join Eagle News in creating a dialogue among the staff, faculty and students to better a place we all care so much about.

I think it is easy for our readers to forget that the paper’s staff is comprised of a group of students who are just getting a taste of what their whole lives might become. I commend my staff for having the courage to put thousands of copies of their work on newsstands and online for the world to scrutinize. It takes a lot, and I don’t think they get enough credit.

I have learned so much this year from working with such an inspiring staff; I credit them with all of my success. There is no way I would have been awarded Student Leader of the Year at the Dean of Students Leadership and Involvement Awards if it weren’t for this incredible, and sometimes challenging, staff.

I can’t thank Eagle News enough for making me a stronger person and preparing me for what’s to come in my professional career. I am positive my transition from editor-in-chief of Eagle News to assignment editor at WINK News will go smoothly.

Though so many of us have cycled through the newsroom on the second floor of McTarnaghan Hall, and many more after us will inevitably do the same, Eagle News will continue to retain its legacy of generating student journalists with a dedication to produce an amazing publication that will keep the FGCU community informed.

I am just so lucky and proud to say that I was a small part in that paper’s success.

It’s been an insane ride, Eagle News. I would not be the person I am today without you, and for that I am extremely grateful.

Leaving Eagle News will be extremely hard. It’s just comforting to know that the staff I leave behind is in good hands and has the paper’s best interests at heart.

About The Author

Emily Ford

Emily Ford is a senior at Florida Gulf Coast University majoring in communication with a concentration in public relations and minoring in journalism. Emily has been apart of the Eagle News team since freshman year, helping out with design and photography and since sophomore year, Emily has been the production manager. When not in the newsroom, Emily can be found at a concert that primarily focuses on the teen angsty bands we all enjoyed in middle school (i.e. All Time Low), binge watching a television series on Netflix from the comfort of her couch, or at Disney World spending all her money and meeting all the different characters. Emily also has an unhealthy addiction to Starbucks so if needed, check at a nearby location first.

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