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You define our work

Douglas Farmer | Monday, March 7, 2011

I was required to attend a live showing of the National Theatre’s performance of “King Lear” at Browning Cinema Thursday night.

Instead, I spent the night — close to 10 hours total — fulfilling my new role as Editor-in-Chief for the first time.

The Observer, such as it goes. And none of us on this staff would have it any other way.

We have missed classes, lost sleep, eaten unhealthy food and skipped nights with our friends, even stood up the occasional date, to produce this paper so you can have a distraction over that plate of stuffed shells.

Yes, for some in our newsroom, these teeth-grinding mishaps provide meaningful experience for potential journalism careers. Yet even more of our staff is smart enough to avoid the downward-spiraling path of journalism: pre-med, philosophy and business majors. After just one night as Editor-in-Chief, I concluded these are the members of staff that will carry me through my yearlong term, and you, our readers, are the ones that will define it.

When the pre-med major tanks an orgo exam, we trust him to forget about it long enough to write a hockey feature — even though it was a night in the office that stole away his precious studying time. When the philosophy major finishes his cryptic thesis, we relax with him — largely because we know they will finally return to their regular work in the basement of South Dining Hall. When the business majors land lucrative internships, or even jobs, we plan to celebrate with them — as now they have the money to spend that us journalists will likely never see ourselves.

And when someone in this room actually pursuing journalism catches an unexpected break, it is the pre-med, philosophy and business majors who appreciate it the most, as they see the daily effort that turned into that stroke of luck.

Without these staffers, The Observer would not come out twice a week, yet alone daily.

Without our readers, The Observer would not exist at all.

By reading The Observer in class, during lunch or while Villanova’s starting lineup is announced, you give us — all of us, both the journalism minors and the pre-med majors — reason to miss those classes, lose sleep, eat unhealthily and even skip a few nights at Kildare’s.

Over the next year, it is our goal to improve our content, expand our coverage and facilitate your access to it. All too often we only think of what trip we can go on next or what clip will look good in our portfolio.

What we need to think of, and I assure you will think of, is you, our readers. Without you, The Observer would not exist at all.

Feel free to remind any one of us of that anytime. It’ll motivate us further, because we’ll know you’re still reading.


The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Douglas Farmer at dfarmer1@nd.edu