Serving the community keeps us going

Stephanie Markham, Editor-in-Chief

I have dedicated my time and sanity to The Daily Eastern News for the past three years.

In the grand scheme of things, three years may be no more than a pimple on the behind of Father Time.

However, working here has had the effect of slowing down time and making three meager years feel like an eternity.

At no other point than when I worked as administration editor has one day felt like an entire week. Or, when I was news editor, a day felt more like an eon.

But now, in my fourth and final year I will dedicate to The News, I have come to realize something humbling.

Though these last few years may have felt like forever to me, they only represent 3 percent of the total time The News has been a presence on campus.

It started as the Normal School News on Nov. 5, 1915, and exactly one century later I am tasked with helping to carry on the legacy that has been built up in the meantime.

I am editor-in-chief for the 100th year of this newspaper, and as such, I accept the incredible responsibility that comes with that title.

There are immensely important issues going on at Eastern in the year 2015 that need to be reported on diligently, fairly and factually.

Enrollment has been declining steadily for the past decade.

The downward slope for state appropriations has been just as slick, and now more than a month after the fiscal year began Eastern still has no idea how much money the state will cut back yet again.

These things compounding over time led the university to be in the predicament it is in now—money is tight and people who have dedicated way more years to Eastern than I have are losing their jobs.

Illinois has a new governor; Eastern has a new president, and now Charleston has a new mayor.

I have seen The News overcome some unbelievable obstacles.

We been through the deaths of one of our professors, our department chair and even one of our own editors, and every time we managed put out a paper the next day.

We have had to apologize for mistakes as well as defend our journalistic choices in the face of criticism.

I have seen people organize a protest against us and throw entire stacks of our papers in the dumpster because they disagreed with our content.

We still put out a paper the next day.

When I ask myself why I put up with all the stress, the answer is always the same.

We have a job to do. We serve students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni and Charleston.

We work to inform our readers of what they care about. We work to provide people with the truth when fear and rumors are spreading like wildfire. We work to hold people with power in this community accountable.

As such, I expect all of our readers to hold me and my staff accountable.

We will correct our mistakes and learn from them.

We will do our jobs for this community no matter what gets in our way.

The News has done so for the past 99 years, and this time will not be any different.