From Mia Gettenberg: ‘We need to pay attention when student and local journalists speak up.’

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Name: Mia Gettenberg

College newspaper: The Independent Florida Alligator (Gainesville, Florida)

In Fall 2015, I started working at The Independent Florida Alligator as a sophomore at the University of Florida. With some experience in journalism in high school, I began as a copy editor, working late nights with student editors, writers and photographers to put out our best work each day. I later became copy desk chief and then held the position of print managing editor during Summer 2016. I’ve been a columnist at the paper since January 2017, and I will graduate in a few weeks.

Without a doubt, The Alligator showed me firsthand the passion and dedication of local journalists. We need students to continue pursuing their dreams in journalism, a profession increasingly coming under scrutiny in this political age, to hold our elected officials accountable, learn more about the world around us and know where to devote our attention and resources.

I always loved the news, though I never wanted to enter journalism myself. From the start, I knew I wanted to one day attend law school and pursue my interests in educational, environmental and civil-rights issues within the legal realm. However, my experiences at The Alligator and the friends I made along the way helped shape me into the person I am today — academically, professionally and personally.

We need to pay attention when student and local journalists speak up. These people work tirelessly to bring us the news each day, to make us better, more informed citizens who can go out and effect change in our neighborhoods, states and nations. After witnessing the careful consideration and effort my friends at The Alligator put into their work 24/7, I know we need to prioritize our student newsrooms.

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