Being the “Voice of Dixie” is not just a phrase or hashtag; it’s a title.
As my time as editor-in-chief of a news organization I’ve spent three years with is dwindling down, I’ve been pondering exactly what it means to be a voice.
I chose journalism as my career because I love to tell stories, and there’s no better feeling than being able to tell someone else’s story and to get it right. For someone to trust you enough to tell you about their life, no matter how long or short, is something no journalist can deny as anything less than meaningful.
Although the dictionary will define voice in a literal sense, in the world of journalism it’s much more profound. And with student journalism, it’s not an easy task.
Being a voice at Dixie State University means spending long nights in the newsroom writing your story when your other class assignments are building up. It means having folders full of notes from dozens of sources and audio recordings filling up your space on your phone you don’t want to delete. It means you do more than stalk others on social media; you hunt for stories. It means struggling with finding those on campus who want to talk to you. It means keeping your ears open for stories you thought you would never need to cover.
I could go on, but there’s no need. It’s not an easy task being a student journalist, but it’s a privilege.
Journalism in general has a bad reputation, and in order to look at journalism differently or find appreciation for it, that starts with student journalists. Dixie Sun reporters, editors and photographers do what they do because they recognize the need to be a voice for DSU’s community. And I know next year’s editor-in-chief Ryann Heinlen recognizes that same need.
Although I will no longer be a voice present on DSU’s campus, I will appreciate and take the skills I have learned from the Dixie Sun to my career as I continue to be a voice for others.