Farewell column: Editor-in-chief Slade Rand

Posted on May 3 2019 - 5:04am by Slade Rand

It’s strange. The day I became editor-in-chief of The Daily Mississippian, I started thinking about this column. I thought about the song lyrics I’d like to quote, about the late-night newsroom jokes I’d share and about how I’d thank you all for reading one last time.

Slade Rand Photo by Katherine Butler

Now all I can think about is how the words “farewell column” don’t describe what I’m trying to write here. Yes, I’m departing Oxford one week from today. No, this is not a “farewell.” It’s an introduction to the person I am now, the product of my past year at The Daily Mississippian.

This year has changed me. Every news story, album review or opinion piece I’ve read has bettered me, especially the ones we had to correct the next day. This student newspaper gave me the opportunity of a lifetime, the chance to produce something new every single day. I hope it felt new each morning because I promise you we tried.

We left Bishop Hall each night knowing that, no matter what, we’d be back tomorrow doing a newspaper all over again. At first, that unfamiliar feeling was a little daunting. How were we going to pull it off tomorrow?

One year later, I’m confident that feeling is what made working at The Daily Mississippian so much, dare I say, fun. It took time, space and new routines, but this job brought me to a place of peace with the fact that tomorrow is always coming.

The tomorrows will always come. The early morning emails from our advisers would always come. My being at The Daily Mississippian every day was driven by an excitement to get to work and start making tomorrow happen. I can’t say I had that outlook on life before this job, and I can’t say I was as happy a person before this job.

The Daily Mississippian staff, our relentless faculty advisers and you, readers, became a part of my life: a reliable yet thrilling part of my life. I’d wake up every day with you all on my mind, as terrifying as that is. I spent more time every day with our editorial staff than I did with my roommates. By the end of it, I’m sure a little bit of that over-commitment was by choice. Regardless of what kept me coming back each day, no matter how behind schedule, thank you all for the encouragement to push through to tomorrow.

I sent off 100 issues of The Daily Mississippian in my time as editor-in-chief, but that number isn’t what’s important. It’s less than past staffs produced in a school year when we printed five days a week. What is important though, is that we always made it happen. It didn’t matter what we were still mad about from last night, what show in Birmingham we were missing or how many accusatory emails we got that day. There would always be more. “The trick was to surrender to the flow.”

Thank you, Ole Miss, for letting me give this a shot. I hope you enjoyed the ride and that someone, somewhere felt something because of what we did.