ANDREW BEECHER/THE OBSERVER
You can see it in their eyes, red from squinting at screens for hours on end. You can hear it in their shouts lobbed across the room as sections collaborate, commiserate and help the work along. It’s imbued in first drafts, on crumpled mock-ups and atop stacks of newly-printed editions.
Nobody is paid at The Fordham Observer. There is no academic credit associated with participation.
They do it for something more.
Listen in on any returning staffer’s yearly application interview, and you’ll know why twenty-some busy college students pack themselves into a room of computers for six, seven, eight hours on production night. There’s something more. There’s something that makes the dark circles worth it. There’s a reason they come back week after week, year after year. They love what they do — and more importantly, they know what they represent.
The Margaret Mead quote emblazoned on countless community service and walkathon t-shirts goes like this: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” As cliché as it sounds, for the writers, editors and staff of The Observer, there is truth behind these words. More truth than meets the eye.
See their discourse immortalized in print and online. Listen to the conversation their words inspire. Watch the way they flip through today’s issue with equal parts pride and fine-toothed scrutiny, and you’ll never doubt for a minute that a group of thoughtful, committed students can change their school, each other—and maybe even the world.
To appreciate the amount of time and passion that they allocate to creating a publication that is entirely their own is to understand the importance of student journalism in this world.
The staff of The Observer is far from perfect. They don’t always catch mistakes. Not each and every word they print shakes the foundations of the school, nor the bedrock of New York City. However, the very presence of The Fordham Observer speaks the loudest, clearest, most constant message the newsroom has to offer: thoughtful, committed students are here. Their ideas can thrive here. Their opinions matter here. Their dedication to the truth is celebrated here.
Student journalism is alive here.
You can see it in every single one of them. They do it for something more.