A reminder to our readers

If there’s one thing I’ve been working on this semester, it’s having tougher skin. But when it comes to the Royal Purple, I tend to take things straight to heart.

Last semester, an anonymously critiqued paper was slipped under our office door filled front to back with hand-written notes and corrections. To credit the critic, many of his/her corrections targeted legitimate style errors and I am thankful for the constructive criticism he/she had to go along with it. Yet the tone of many of the notes and comments seemed, at best, undeserved.

Reading these comments, it was hard for me not to take it personally. As a very active staff member of the Royal Purple, I spend close to 20 hours a week working on the paper, if not more. I take my job seriously and I take great pride in the product our staff comes out with every week. By no means are we perfect at what we do. At weekly critique meetings we pinpoint dozens of mistakes, point out our weak points as well as discuss as a group how we can make our publication better.

This being said, I have one thing I’d like our Royal Purple readers to keep in mind: we’re still learning. The Royal Purple is not a professional publication. It’s put together by a group of dedicated college students looking to gain experience in print journalism. Don’t get me wrong, we take pride in holding ourselves to ethical standards and giving our readers quality journalism, but we’re going to make some mistakes along the way. It’s part of the learning process.

As a sophomore, I am still in the very early stages of my journalism education. By no means do I have the adequate background to call myself anything but a “journalist in the making.” But by being a member of the Royal Purple, I have gained hands-on experience I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else, and I think everyone of my staff members would agree. We don’t do it for the money (which, if you’re at all familiar with newspaper wages, you know it’s next to nothing,) we do it for the experience.

I’m not looking to make excuses for mistakes we make or a pat on the back from anyone, I’d just like for our readers to keep in mind the overall function the Royal Purple serves.

Keep the constructive criticism coming; it’s making us better journalists. As I said earlier, personally I’m working on having tougher skin and learning to take constructive criticism better.

All I ask in return is for readers to remember that yes, we make mistakes, but with every mistake comes a lesson learned.     This is how journalists are made. Getting an education, gaining experience and producing good journalism is the ultimate goal.

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