By Nick Dean
Editor in chief
Somebody once said that realizing we are broken is the beginning of healing. Or at least that is what I read in Donald Miller’s book “Father Fiction” while on a plane over Easter break.
I think my time as editor in chief for the Lariat fits perfectly into the idea that we don’t begin true healing until we understand we need help.
In my mind, huge gaffes in my journalism career demarcate my time at the Lariat. Mistakes like that one time I spelled that one female U.S. senator from Texas’ name wrong. (Again, sorry KBH) or the time I let a photo caption run in the paper that said “insert caption here” ad nauseam. Or the time (last week) when I ran the wrong title next to one of the reporter’s mug shot on the opinion page. Or the time I said Liz Hitchcock was from Waco. (She’s from Phoenix.)
The list goes on, and I have heard that as I move past my collegiate years, the mistakes actually get worse.
I am great at the first part of what Miller said — realizing that I am one broken-down child of God. I am so good at seeing my brokenness, however, that I don’t let myself reap a major benefit of self-reflection and discipline — healing. For some reason, my flaws and mistakes vibrantly color my memory. I will never forget the times I didn’t do my job right. Something within me won’t let me forget. Healing is at the heart of the growth process. It is the reason I am able to stand up, shake of the dirt that covered me from plummeting to the ground after a terrible mistake and sit in front of my computer furiously writing once more.
I have found that recently, thanks to my mistakes, I shun healing. I do recognize that I am broken but instead of turning that cognizance into growth, I grew complacent and tired of always having something innate to work on. But I have recently realized that my mistakes are a necessary part of my life.
Without mistakes, I will never learn. The same can be said for successes. The Lariat staff has picked up numerous awards — nationally, regionally and statewide. I know these awards were reaped as a result of the staff’s hard work. Each award lays a foundation for our staff to maintain its commitment to professional, ethical journalism. I know that when I leave this newsroom, that commitment is a mainstay at the Lariat.
My time as editor has been one year long journey meant to mold. This job, my two advisers and the journalism and media arts department professors have given me a set of finely tuned journalism tools.
My capacity as a student leader has allowed me to discover the place of a leader and my time as a student journalist taught me the importance of a free press in a sphere where a plethora of decisions directly affect readers.
My co-workers have pushed me to better understand the necessity of community and to understand the nuances of working with a variety of personalities. I appreciated my time as a time to give back to Baylor in a tangible way — protecting its students.
On top of all that tremendous growth is the truth that I still have much to learn.
The revolving broken-to-healed cycle is so painstakingly obvious in the journalism world. This is one of the few crafts where we learn by doing, not by rote memorization or in-class assignments. The Lariat is a place that promotes an informed student body and a blossoming set of student journalists.
The numerous awards won by student publications over the past year has nothing to do with me and everything to do with the hungry class of journalists and PR people who are vehemently challenging the idea that the media is a dead beast. Thank you for the opportunity to recognize my brokenness over the years, to share my thoughts on life, faith, politics and Baylor and to take the reins of a college paper that acts exactly like a professional news organizations.
The broken state I entered this job in is long gone. I am refined and the flaws are buffed away. Now onto the next journey where the spotlight is bigger and my flaws more glaring.
My time on staff has been a whirlwind. As a sports writer, staff writer, news editor and now editor in chief, I can say I wouldn’t change a thing. (Well, actually, just one thing: Hutchison.)
Nick Dean is a junior journalism and political science major from Austin. He is the editor in chief of the Lariat.