Andrew Ringle, Executive Editor
Every year at The CT, graduating editors steal a chunk of the opinions section for an admittedly vain reason — to scrawl out one last “farewell” to the newspaper, our readers and the friends we made along the way.
I’ve read these articles every year from many good friends since I joined The CT in 2018. My favorite was former editor Fadel Allassan’s, which simply read:
I considered playing that angle; leave a short, witty line that shows you don’t take yourself too seriously, I told myself before starting this. Don’t write an essay. But here we are, passing 150 words.
I’m not going to write an essay. In fact, I considered typing out, “I don’t want to get into it,” and leaving it at that.
I can’t sugarcoat the challenges I’ve faced at The CT. Getting chased, handcuffed and shot at with chemical agents and rubber bullets by police all summer, working for minimal pay, balancing the responsibilities of being a full-time student with the pressure of a rapidly growing and expectant audience — all happening during a pandemic, which I somehow nearly forgot to mention. The job often made me feel tired and pessimistic.
But I want to use my short column here to celebrate what we’ve done, despite those obstacles. When I remember The CT, I know I will think of my friends’ smiling faces and the feeling of sending a final PDF to the printers as the sun begins to rise. I can save the rest for therapy.
My proudest accomplishment is leading The CT to being what VPM called “one of the most trusted media outlets in the city” during the summer of racial justice protests. It was a privilege to serve Richmond during those long, hot nights, and I am grateful to those who tuned in, reached out and donated to our humble publication.
We’ve won two consecutive Pacemaker awards, called “the Pulitzer of college media” by some student journalists. And dozens of other award certificates from the Virginia Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and more will hang on the walls of the Student Media Center in The CT’s honor for years thanks to our staff’s hard work.
I have a few people I’d like to thank for making that happen. Georgia Geen, The CT’s former executive editor and a good friend to so many who worked within the newsroom’s windowless walls. Thank you for your guidance and support. Our editorial advisers, Allison Bennett Dyche and Mark Robinson, as well as the entire SMC staff and board — we are all grateful for the care and effort you put into your jobs.
Thanks to my staff at The CT, past and present — Iman Mekonen, Sarah Elson, Rachel Rivenbark, Katharine DeRosa, Noah Fleischman, Ebonique Little, Tagwa Shammet, Enza Marcy, Jon Mirador, Lauren Johnson, Hannah Eason, Ed Acevedo, Alex Zernik — and all our graphic designers led by the fearlessly creative Andy Caress. Good luck to those of you who are returning in the fall, and I’ll see some of you at Warm ‘n’ Fuzzies.
Finally, thanks to my partner Vaila, our cat Chibi and my family. I couldn’t have handled working from home for most of the past year without your constant companionship.
Now this reads like an Oscars acceptance speech, and all I’m doing is leaving my job at a college newspaper, so I’ll wrap this up with one more important sentiment.
Thank you for reading.