Monday, April 12, 2010

Farewell, TNH

TNH's office takes up one corner of the Student Org Complex. It's made up of a couple of computer clusters, a refrigerator, and a few couches. A gray partition separates the newspaper from the other orgs, lined with issues we've proudly assembled on a semi-weekly basis for the past school year.

The electronics, hum of the printer, and printed sheets of paper can seem cold, almost impersonal at times. But the people are colorful, vibrant, intelligent, and quirky. And on Monday and Tuesday nights, we're, well...we're family.

The long hours I've spent in the newsroom have been some of the most wonderful, interesting, boring, painful, surprising, intellectual times of my life. We have a language, a rhythm. There's something strange that unites us all. We click.

Tonight is my last production night at TNH. It's also the last official night for Executive Editor Cam Kittle, Managing Editor Nate Batchelder, News Editor Tori Lewis, and Layout Editor Chris Hawkins. The times, I guess, are a changing. Thanks Bob Dylan.

I remember shaking then Assigning Editor Steve Bodnar's hand my sophomore year, figuring I better publish a few articles, since I was taking an intro newswriting class. I had no idea the two and a half years later I'd be the one assigning stories, on the prowl for Durham's latest, trying to entice people to step into our basement office for maximum coverage.

John Wayne showed us the ropes last year. This past year, we only hoped to improve upon what he did. We started a beat system, doubled our number of contributors, increased online traffic by 50 percent with our updated web site, and tried to make TNH speak UNH's language. You know, be more representative of the student body.

Our newspapers were tossed into the trash last fall (I cried), we caught the people with security cameras and were featured on WMUR, the Union Leader, and Fox News (I smiled), we covered UNH's own bondage club, the unusual number of assault-induced Clery Act news releases, and made it to a convention in Austin, Tx.

Yet, that's only a fraction of what I've experienced within the cardboard cubicles of TNH. Sure, it's good for the career, great on the resume. But what I've learned from the people here will stay with me forever. I think I ran on pure passion for most of the time at TNH - finding the 20-plus hours a week for the paper on top of the 20-plus hours and weekend competitions for UNH's gymnastics team. I came to UNH for gymnastics. But through TNH, I found a reason to stay.

I can't wait to see what Tom, Amanda, and Chad do with the paper. A new era is about to start, while another chapter is ending, for many of us. I wish the new staff all the best.

And for all TNHers two years ago, last year, and this year: thanks for everything.

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