Editor’s note: 10 things I learned as EIC

By Olivia Krauth–

Three semesters and 43 issues later, my term as the Cardinal’s Editor-in-Chief is over. That’s right—by the time you read this, I’ll be the washed-up, former EIC. As much as I dislike having the phrase “washed-up” apply to me, I could not be more thankful to have held the position.

I get asked a lot (mainly by Tinder matches) how I got into such a powerful role. After saying “No one man should have all the power,” I get to relay the following story. I applied for the position at the end of my freshman year, going up against an older editor who knew more and had more journalism experience. I got the job after the opponent’s phone died, causing his alarm to not go off and him to miss the 8 a.m. interview. First lesson as EIC? Always have your phone charged.

Of course, I learned more than to show up to an important interview, and I’ve written it all down. (Another thing I learned—listicles are pretty frowned-upon by mainstream journalists.)

Expected the unexpected: You would think I would know better and avoid cliches, but this is the best way to say it. If you asked me two years ago if I thought the board of trustees would be considering a vote of no confidence in President James Ramsey right now, I would laugh. Things happen, and you better be adaptable. Other unexpected things: the entirety of the basketball/stripper allegations, having a U of L official ask me what “Deez Nuts” meant because we ran a story on it and people sending photos of dogs wearing sombreros to my U of L email.

Font choice is key: Like Kanye, I sometimes get emotional over fonts. It took half a semester of being EIC to realize few people understand the power of a great font. The sooner you understand strong font-choosing abilities is key to having people like you, the better you will be as an individual.

You deal with a lot: Let’s be real: more people would be better off if they started living by the following acronyms: IDGAF, IDFWU and GOMD (consult Urban Dictionary if you are confused). Stop dealing with people you don’t like and do you. It took a sombrero-related national media hellstorm to make me realize this, so I’m saying it here so you can learn it faster than me.

Say it twice: One of my professors gave me some advice this semester: “Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say twice.” It didn’t take him saying it for me to realize it’s time to start being honest. Don’t like something? Speak your piece, and don’t tell different people otherwise because you’re scared of confrontation. You’ll be surprised how much stress you have due to your current lack of honesty. Oh, and stop saying sorry.

Haters should be spelled with a “z”: People will hate the paper even if they don’t read the paper. People can’t tell the difference between the news and opinion section, and they will call you biased because of it. People don’t understand simple grammar rules and will be upset when you edit their stories so they won’t humiliate themselves. People will get upset when you tell the truth because it “makes U of L look bad.”

But 50 told me and Kanye repeated it: “Go ahead and switch your style up. If they hate, let ‘em hate and watch the money pile up.”

Don’t willingly have 9 a.m. staff meetings: Your editor that works at UPS will not be there, and neither will your brain or ambition. Just say no.

Networking is way easier than you think: I used to groan when someone said something would be a “perfect networking opportunity.” Actually, I still groan. For me, networking is up on the list of unspeakable words like moist and panties. Here’s the thing: the best kind of networking is simply being really good at your job and then putting it on Twitter.

Know your (journalistic) rights: Kentucky Open Meeting laws are great. The first amendment is better. Being able to shut down a guy asking U of L to sue you for libel against Ramsey on Twitter because you understand libel laws is best. That guy still has me blocked, but it’s his fault he didn’t understand communication law. For those not in journalism: you can go to meetings and ask questions. Use those rights and be informed.

Confidence: All of these boil down to one thing: be confident. Don’t let people walk on you and silence you; both are hard habits to break. Don’t let your words, opinions or spirit be censored. At the same time, learn the line between savage and rude.

Thanks for reading all of the stories. I’ll be back next semester as copy editor, but for now, EIC out.

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