When I decided to make this my last semester at the Alligator, I did so knowing that it would be hard to leave.
What I didn’t realize was how much I might worry about the future of the Alligator after I left.
I have no idea who is going to take over for me after I leave. It’s not that I haven’t thought about it — but no one who would be capable of doing the job wants it. We’re having the same problem with section editor positions: our section editors are moving on, but no one is stepping up to take their jobs.
Maybe this will change by the end of the semester. I hope so.
It’s just bad timing. Ever since the Alligator instituted the trimester system two years ago, making summer a real semester with a full budget, our turnover has been huge. People move up into positions more quickly over the summer, and then they leave, having “done their time” at whatever position. It’s also difficult to attract new blood with our work hours and pay.
I also think the general state of journalism dissuades people from working at the Alligator (ironically enough, since they need the experience to get jobs). People are jaded about journalism jobs in general, and the head-in-the-sand mentality makes them avoid anything having to do with real journalism.
It seems like the general mentality is the same as in a jaded post from the Student Newspaper Survival Blog:
“Maybe philosophy isn’t so impractical after all. At least opportunities for philosophers aren’t evaporating before their eyes.”
So with all this, what do we do about next semester? I have no idea. But I’m sticking to my guns and saying I have three weeks left.
This is a situation that is out of my control. And as frustrating as it is, when I’ve worked hard for a semester to make a better newsroom and a better newspaper, it’s not my job. I’ve got a semester term limit, and I’ve done my job to the best of my ability within that semester.
Sometimes you just have to know when to let go.