By Akira Kyles
This was the day that I had been waiting for for so long and now that it was here, it only felt bittersweet.
I joined the MSU Spokesman the second I heard about it after my transfer from Pace University in 2015. Before I knew it, it became my haven. I never felt more welcome nor more at home anywhere on campus than in those staff meetings.
Working for the Spokesman was unlike anything I had experienced. I wrote for and ran my high school newspaper and contributed to Pace’s newspaper before joining the MSU Spokesman.
The MSU Spokesman was housed in the School of Global Journalism and Communication on Morgan State University’s campus. Something about that building brought life to the magic in journalism for me, even with its flaws.
I found not only friends in SGJC but a family that embraced me and pushed me forward to hone in on the skills that I know have made me a better journalist.
I started with the MSU Spokesman as a writer and I’m leaving as its editor-in-chief. I learned, I laughed, I taught and teared up but never cried.
I thank former editors that got me here like former editor-in-chief Benjamin McKnight, Zahna Armstrong, former campus news editor and of course Tramon Lucas, another former editor-in-chief.
There were also writers along the way that helped me grow as an editor like Maliik Obee, Terrence Smith and writers turned editors, Janelle Ferguson and Dominique Hunter.
As I said, SGJC is a family and all of my staff have become a part of my family that have nurtured my mind and soul. For this, I will always be grateful.
I could not consider my departure complete without attributing my growth to this position to members of the elite faculty, especially Jacqueline Jones, assistant dean of SGJC, and Milton Kent, Spokesman advisor.
I have to personally thank Stacey Patton, associate professor in SGJC and Kent for pulling me out of my comfort zone numerous times, no matter how many times I kicked and screamed (not literally).
On May 19, as I crossed that stage, I felt completely overwhelmed by my emotions and thoughts of the unknown. I am mere days away from contributing to POLITICO and freelancing for the Afro American newspaper yet there is still a fear that I can’t explain.
College was a breeze because I always knew I would succeed in it; there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that I would cross that stage. But now I’m filled with endless doubts on my plan not coming to fruition. I plan to work my way up to becoming an investigative reporter telling stories around the world.
I can’t say what will happen after POLITICO or after the AFRO but I do know that I will spend every second preparing for the next chapter and remembering all that I’ve learned from the last four years.
If there is anything I can leave for future members of the Spokesman, it’s to be bold, be bright and seize every opportunity that comes knocking on your door. If you’re a writer, learn how to work a camera. If you’re a videographer, make sure you know the AP Stylebook like the back of your hand anyways.
Never limit yourself to one thing because you will enter a world that will literally chew you up and spit you out. The worst thing you can do now is be unprepared for it.
The Spokesman will treat you well, just as it did for me and those before me. You just have to let it. But don’t take too long. This is, after all, a deadline industry.