Name: Jacqui Neber
Where I am now: Opinions Editor at The Johns Hopkins News-Letter (Baltimore, Maryland)
My experience at the News-Letter has been transformative. I started working for the paper the first week of my freshman year as a News & Features writer, then became a News & Features Editor, Managing Editor and now Opinions Editor. The paper has given me a home and a family, and it has reaffirmed that I want to go into a career in journalism. Covering important campus and city events as a Neatures Editor provided me with the fundamentals of the craft, taught me how to work in a team, and introduced me to the moral and ethical questions that we run into even as student journalists. Being a Managing and Opinions Editor introduced me to the magic that is working on our Editorial Board, which has been my favorite part of the whole four years. Discussing what’s important to our community each week with such a talented team of fellow editors is always invigorating, and it feels good knowing we’re so thoroughly deciding how to present the paper’s view on an event or cultural trend. We hold Hopkins accountable for what the administration does, which is I think the most important role of a student paper.
I wouldn’t be the student journalist or person I am today without my experience at the News-Letter. Student newsrooms are vital to both the people who work in them and the students and community members reading them. When papers are independent and driven to hold their administrations and peers accountable, it creates a healthier climate and discussion across campus. Shock waves can even ripple into the community, something that is rewarding and exciting. We need student newspapers because they are real newspapers.