Why I’m leaving The Houstonian

Fifty issues.

I have been editor-in-chief of The Houstonian for 50 issues. Well, 56 if you include the six summer editions, but those don’t really count – 50 is a nice, even number. So let’s go with that.

I will be leaving The Houstonian to work as a fulltime reporter at The Woodlands Villager tomorrow. While I cherished my time at The Houstonian, there are some things I won’t miss:

I will not miss the late nights with my coworkers, scrambling to get stories finalized and working like clockwork to send off the paper to the printer. I will not miss the editorial arguments (both when I was right and when I was wrong) with my staff that helped me build my repertoire of experience. I will not miss the negative, harassing comments on various social media after writing less-than-popular news stories that helped me grow thick skin. I will not miss the demanding hours with not-so-rewarding pay that helped me appreciate the value of this line of work. I will not miss the hyperbolic “quitting” some coworkers did. I will not miss the conflict resolution that brought me closer to my coworkers and sprouted tremendous relationships, both personal and professional. I will not miss watching Cable 7 News and pointing out every time the news writers lift a story from The Houstonian (they did, however, scoop us on a student arrest two weeks ago. Congrats).

Working as a student journalist means you spend your life in the newsroom. Which means you do your socializing, schoolwork, wedding planning, eating (although I have been known to skip meals) and goofing off in the newsroom.

To sum up the meaning of The Houstonian and its newsroom, let me refer to a conversation I had with an employee of mine months ago:

Our newsroom is one like no other. It can been called a classroom. It can been called an office. It can even been called a bedroom, to certain members of our staff at some point or another. But more importantly, it is a haven – one that’s safe, tranquil and welcoming. One of the reasons I wound up there so much my freshman year was because when I felt I didn’t truly belong with other organizations on campus, the newsroom was always there with welcoming people. The leaders in the newsroom at that time worked efficiently as they would in a real newsroom, taught well as they would in a classroom and slept as they would in a bedroom. Most importantly, they made sure it was welcoming by making sure they were friends. That’s how our newsroom is different than any other of its kind – it’s a place for friends.

So when you think of The Houstonian, do not simply think about those pricks who reported on the shortcomings of your fraternity, those meddling kids who just could not fact-check to save their lives or those girls who excelled at consumer reporting – think of the experiences it brings, the opportunities it births and the news is so dutifully reports.

There are 3 comments

  1. Jaquelin Villafranco

    First off, Congrats on your new job and taking a tremendous step in your professional career. When one person from Sam Houston succeeds, we all succeed.

    With that being said, I'm kinda disappointed in what you had to say about Channel 7. We are a school, working, growing and learning together. I'm not sure when the Houstonian began having issues with broadcasting, but we all benefit from working TOGETHER to cultivate the skills necessary to succeed in our respective fields. Instead of trying to tear your colleagues( because no matter what, we are colleagues) down, how about acknowledging the effort of others and maybe, with your experience, help guide those who may need it.

    We all need to learn to work as a team and lift one another up. I hope that in your future endeavors you build the people that surround you up, instead of tear them down.

    Again, best of luck to you on your new journey.

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