If you would have told me two years ago I would be the editor-in-chief of The Standard, I never would have believed you. This isn’t a position I saw myself in as a freshman — even as a sophomore I hadn’t imagined it — but now that I’m here, I’m excited for the opportunity to make my mark at The Standard.
I grew up in the small, rural town of Mokane, Missouri. My high school didn’t have a journalism program. The closest thing we did have to journalism was our yearbook.
As a high school senior, I decided to attend the nearest career center, where I enrolled in a broadcast journalism class. Every morning, at the crack of dawn, I would load up on a bus to make the half-hour drive to the career center. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the journalistic style of storytelling. I didn’t care about high school life — where I sat at lunch, senior prom or even graduation. All I wanted was to tell stories.
Upon arriving at Missouri State, I got involved at The Standard as early as I could, attending the eight-week reporter training my first semester and beginning to report and photograph my second semester.
The Standard began to engulf my life. And honestly, I’ve been engulfed ever since.
Last year, I served as The Standard’s digital editor. I updated our social media accounts, posted stories onto the website, managed our four podcasts (Check us out on Spotify @TheStandard) and wrote stories and took photos whenever I had the chance.
After some heavy consideration, I decided to apply for editor-in-chief, as the transition appeared pretty seamless since The Standard has been working towards a digital-first model for awhile and I’d been working with digital content for a full year.
Well, digital-first turned into digital-only.
Some bittersweet news you may or may not have already known — The Standard is transitioning to an online-only publication this school year.
Yes, this breaks my heart because it represents the direction print journalism is going, and I think physical newspapers are the most important journalistic medium.
However, this is also an exciting time. The Standard gets to be at the forefront of change, and I have full confidence that our staff is ready for the new road ahead.
What are some new things you can expect this school year from The Standard?
First, I would like to clarify that not all of our content will be online-only. We will still print physical copies of our special sections, such as Back to Campus (obviously, as the copy is most likely in your hands right now), the Career and Housing Guides and Basketball Preview. We are actually adding a handful of new special sections to our publication schedule this year, so expect to see more niche content on newsstands!
Rather than a physical weekly paper, we will be sending out weekly email newsletters to interested students, faculty and staff, alumni and Springfield community members. Newsletters allow us to reach a larger, more diverse audience and give us the opportunity to showcase more of our multimedia projects.
Speaking of multimedia projects, we have plans to expand The Standard’s video department. In the past, we produced The Standard Statement, a weekly broadcast-style video highlighting the week’s top news. In its place, we will share a variety of videos on a weekly and biweekly basis, including The Standard Sports Recap — we produced this last year — along with individual news and lifestyle packages, a cooking show and a weather broadcast.
My biggest goal this year is to improve engagement with you — our reader! I want to strengthen our connection. We need readers and our readers need us to provide them with important, factual — sometimes intriguing — information.
Although I never imagined myself here, I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead an incredible staff through the corridors of changes to come.
For now, bear up and support local journalism!