Year as editor of newspaper offers chance to help others


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Elliott Puckette will be the editor in chief for the Clarion during the upcoming school year.

Elliott Puckette, Editor in Chief

What’s my point? That’s what I’ve been asking myself all summer.

When I accepted the role of Editor in Chief at the end of the spring semester, I knew that the position would require a lot of hours, a lot of writing, and a lot of wrestling with InDesign. Over the course of the school year I’ll learn a lot more about what goes into creating a 16-page newspaper every two weeks, but I’ll also get the chance to practice some of the best leadership philosophy I can find.

I’ve been in leadership positions before. For five years I was a director at the Young Shakespeare Players, where I spent a lot of time leading kids and keeping them on task. I don’t mean to offend children or college students by comparing one to the other, but there are a lot of similarities. They learn, they change, they astound, they like macaroni and cheese and wish they could take a nap.

What I found most rewarding when I was directing was how the kids changed over the course of a production. Whether they came in exuberant and itching to jump on stage or with their heads ducked, trying not to be noticed, by the end they had all grown exceptionally, honing their skills for a passion they might pursue into adulthood, or just being more comfortable in their own skins.

At a community college you get a huge cross-section of people trying to achieve a broad variety of things. Here, more than just about any other educational setting, you can meet interesting people with different life experiences and goals than yourself, but by virtue of going to school we have all decided that we want to move in a forward direction, whatever that means.

So my responsibility, as a leader of one of the biggest organizations on campus, is to find the people who could benefit from The Clarion (and in my humble opinion, that’s everyone) and help them reach their goals.

Reaching them will get easier as we expand our online and multimedia departments. This year we have a full broadcasting branch that will be making short videos for our YouTube channel that showcase life at Madison College.

Bringing things online is one of the most effective things we can do to make our student newspaper more relevant, both for readers and for student journalists who will be moving into a multimedia news world.

My goal with The Clarion, as my goal with the children’s theater, is to make sure everyone gets something good out of it. It might be the confidence to interview, the skills to write a compelling story, the experience to get a job, or just the fun of it. I want everyone to know that The Clarion is an organization that cares first and foremost about the students at Madison College.

That’s my point.