Letter from the executive editor
I joined The Review the second week of my freshman year. Since then, I have written and edited a bazillion news articles each week, manning the news battlements and overseeing boring local investigations as an editor.
I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Former Copy Chief Bridget Dolan literally rolling on the floor laughing at her own jokes. Titanic battles of wills between outgoing Editor-in-Chief Caleb Owens and Jacob Orledge, the mad news genius par excellence. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain on a Tuesday in Newark, but I come to you now, your executive editor, to pontificate to you about how The Review shall continue its usual bullshit, and how we shall endeavor to find novel means of bullshitting.
If you’ve ever passed by the Perkins Student Center and wondered what goes on upstairs in that strange attached brick building, please know that there is a terribly messy news office up there staffed by a crack team of your caffeine addled, highly-cynical peers. Like it or not, they act as the voice of the student body, the primary source of information for a large portion of Newark and, when need be, a a check on the university administration and local governance.
We at The Review take this mantle much more seriously than you might imagine and perhaps more seriously than we ought to. Our detractors often tell us we haven’t taken it seriously enough, but to them I must respectfully give the finger.
Each week, I watch with pride as an intrepid group of eager student reporters, encouraged by our dedicated editorial staff, are sent out into the world to pester, poke and prod at the stories we feel you, the student body and the community writ large, deserve to read.
To tell them that they aren’t taking this task seriously is frankly fake news. You’d have a rough time telling this group of beleaguered college students who, on a weekly basis, voluntarily conduct investigations, extracurricular research, and devote too many hours to write hundreds of words for no pay and barely any recognition outside of The Review and their grandma.
Jacob Baumgart, your new Editor-in-Chief, and I are inheriting this newsroom at a time when, in the words of several of my professors, The Review has “reached its peak.” The challenge for us is therefore to either maintain the quality of our content output or to take it to new, exciting heights. I cannot speak for myself, but I firmly believe that, with Jacob at the helm surrounded by a deep, broad talent pool of editors, reporters, artists and photographers, we have a tremendous amount of untapped potential.
I probably ought to make more than just a passing reference the new head of The Review. He joined the newsroom in Fall 2017, working as a reporter before joining me this Spring in the News department.
Jacob Baumgart is a nice man. Now, normally it is a terrible thing to say that someone is a “nice man.” It implies that you had no thoughtful compliment to offer. It implies that any potential character traits that might otherwise be complimented are nonexistent. Normally, calling someone a “nice man” is the character evaluation equivalent of giving your friend a gift card for their birthday. However, this is not normally. Jacob makes kindness his power and his authority, and I have a great deal of respect for that kind of virtue in a man. Having said that, you can be confident that I’m confident he’ll be able to weather whatever crap our dear readers throw at us.
Next semester, I look forward to the opportunity to steer The Review with Jacob in new and exciting directions and to expand our outreach with the student body and the community as a whole. We will do our utmost to keep you informed, generating content that will build a deeper, more vibrant understanding of our university, the local community and the culture that binds it all together.
John Mitchell Patterson
Mitchell Patterson can be reached at email@example.com