By: Saffron Sener | Editor in Chief
May 22, 2017
For a long time, I rebuked this paper. As its current, yet soon-departing, Editor in Chief, I always loved the class and I always defended its validity with vigor, but I only distantly tied myself to my work. Yes, I wrote an article. Yes, I enjoyed doing so. But was there a future for me in this? Well, I don’t know, and frankly, for a while, I didn’t care.
I can’t deny that in my previous three years, I pursued the position of Editor in Chief with fervor and viciousness; I had my eyes on the prize. However, I also can’t deny that to me, the value of journalism both to myself, my peers, and the world in general, was something that I hadn’t truly realized until now, as I type my final piece.
It is with the truest of resolutions that I state: the Triton Times has upended my life. With reflection, I realize that only one thing has remained as a constant, reliable force throughout my high school career, and ultimately my life. My passion for writing and reporting is a trait that, with gratitude to this school’s newspaper, has finally solidified itself as my calling.
My time as Editor in Chief made clear to me the importance of a writer and editor, alike. The effect of my articles was always something that I was aware of, but never acknowledged. Up until this year, I had a fondness for my articles on the war in Syria and European migrant crisis; yet this penchant was at arm’s length. I could identify no real effect of my writing. It wasn’t until I wrote my “Open Letter to Donald Trump” that the far-reaching, influential nature of journalism truly appeared to me. Whether the reactions were positive or biting, praising or insulting, this article changed my life. It made me discover how much I really love writing and how much I love sharing my passion in the journalistic process. With that in mind, I was able to lead this year with a devotion to writing, editing, organizing, and constantly improving this paper. Reflection confirms to me that I did so, to the best of my ability, especially with the constraints of being in the IB program and having a job, as well as many other commitments.
Before I write my last words for this paper, I must speak to my Triton Times team.
To my writers: I applaud you. With every note, every critique, every seemingly repetitive presentation on article-writing, you have stayed true. Despite a dwindling lens by which one can write, determined by a public school’s limiting set of standards as well as a pursuit to teach writing rather than serve solely as a source of information, you have remained as a consistent, reliable, strong force of writers and creators. Those who condemn free speech and admonish its propagators hold afraid at the keyboards that you, my team of writers, use with such grace and meaning. I am proud of you. I am so very proud of you. Never allow anyone to put out your fire; descend upon this world with your words and lead.
To my editors: I thank you. You are my rock. In the days when our forty-strong class and forty article yields at each deadline, you stood strong and took on the bi-weekly challenge with poise. Your constant awareness of individual and class-wide needs as well as your admirable ability to sustain disagreement with your edits is something that inspires me immensely. Setting personal bias or opinions aside, you edited this year’s paper with an objectivity and motivation that is incredibly commendable. Despite the pull of doing homework or studying for a test, you met my demands to edit each article with positivity and kindness; for that, I am forever grateful. I want you to understand that you, the editors, are the stressed-out, yet always capable backbone of this program. You are unwavering and I am proud to leave the future of this paper in your hands.
To my readers: I implore you. Never stop reading. Whether you agree or not, whether you are interested or not, you must understand the levity of both this paper and all others. Assuming that you are of the student degree, the value of your peer’s creations for this newspaper is immeasurable. In order to provide the school with reliable, interesting work, we must treat each piece with immense care and scrutiny; that’s something we do with excitement. The journey of an article from a writer’s mind to a publisher’s inbox is one of beauty. The process must survive. Thus, in this trying time of undeniable attack on reporters and their reporting, it is imperative that you read. When the readers stop reading, the flow of knowledge is ceased. Disregard your age, your gender, your political standing, your everything. You must read. Read everything. Do not discriminate. To truly know your beliefs, you must both know them deeply as well as understand the beliefs of others. Newspapers provide the pathway by which this is achieved; with the ease of access by which you can inform yourself, ignorance is dead. With your refusal to read, to learn, to be informed by the papers we journalists dedicate ourselves to creating, the death of modern society is written into the annals of time. Do not silence yourself. Do not discredit yourself. I beseech you: stay informed, before the information is taken away.
It is with this foresight that I pursue my passion for information. My time at UC Berkeley will be spent at the Daily Californian or in the campus radio station, KALX 90.7. My voice, either to your excitement or disappointment, will not be quiet. I will take the values that this newspaper has taught me with pride to my next journalistic endeavor; with every word I type, I will think of the dedication and worth that the Triton Times provided me. As for the newspaper’s future, I fear not. The Triton Times be small, but she be mighty. I am leaving her in the hands of a capable, intelligent, creative generation of writers and editors that would make any departing Editor in Chief’s heart swell with pride. Next year, one thing can be certain: I’ll be the most avid reader of this newspaper. My comments will be abundant and unstoppable.
Remember: no newspaper is too small, no journalist too unknown. The flow of information must stay alive. But to the Triton Times, I must say farewell. As all things that hold an undeniable, incredible force over your life, this goodbye is only in spirit; the effects of this newspaper on my existence are immeasurable and will stay with me for the rest of my life, as well as the lives of my peers, no matter the direction we follow. See you all on the flip side.