Why I joined The News-Letter, and why you should too

By MORGAN OME | August 30, 2018

People often say that love makes you do crazy things. During the winter break of my freshman year — still sad about the end of my first high school relationship — those crazy things included watching clips of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on loop, crying in bed for hours and rereading old messages late at night. Needless to say, I was not the most fun person to be around. 

Having watched enough rom-coms to last a lifetime, I felt that I needed a major life change to occur. Instead of moving to a new country or chopping off my hair, I decided to email The News-Letter asking if I could join despite having no previous experience. One of the news editors emailed me back right away and told me to come to the next meeting. 

Two weeks later, I nervously made my way along the frozen sidewalk to The Gatehouse, the small green brick building near the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) that serves as The News-Letter office. I sat down on an old couch surrounded by strangers and signed up for my first article. Angela Davis, a scholar and former Black Panther member, was visiting campus that week, so I went to cover her talk as well as interview students.

Reporting was an experience unlike anything I’d done before. I had the privilege of listening to people share their thoughts and of shaping the story. And in the midst of scribbling down notes and recording interviews, I forgot about being sad. 

That first article marked the beginning of my love for journalism. I’ve continued to become a writer, a layout editor and most recently, a news and features editor. Even after three years, I still marvel in the magic of producing a newspaper. It amazes me how we take transcripts, photos and ideas and transform them into a 24-page print edition every Thursday. 

The News-Letter has introduced me to some of my best friends: people who are curious about the world who and ask big questions. I credit The News-Letter for teaching me to look deeply and critically at the issues facing Hopkins students and the Baltimore community. In the last year alone, our paper has covered everything from the hidden costs of being a Residential Advisor (RA), to the push for a campus police force, to the Baltimore City Public Schools heating crisis.

The News-Letter has taught me other things, too. How to churn out 1,300 words in a few hours. How to appreciate an institution, whether it be the University, the City or even this very newspaper, for its strengths, while also constantly working to make it better.

I know now that love indeed makes you do crazy things. Crazy things like stay up until 3 a.m. to perfect the front page, research state legislative bills for hours or approach complete strangers and ask them to share their opinions. I may have joined The News-Letter because of a high school break-up, but what I got was a great college love story.

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