By Mike Habegger,
Co-Editor in Chief
It’s been quite the ride for me at the McDaniel Free Press over the past few years. From controversy to good writing, from new friends to a prevalence of late night curse words, from gallons of Diet Coke to mountains of trash, my experience with the paper has been pretty f#%&ing good.
I came into the field of journalism way back in freshman year, as my roommate, Jon Teter, and I took a tour of campus organizations the first week of classes, telling ourselves that we had to get involved in extracurriculars. Pat O’Toole (’07) got me into the sports section and I wrote a few stories, having never written anything journalistic in my entire life. The next semester, Pat asked me to come on board as the sports section editor. A year later, the staff seemed willing to put me in charge of the entire paper after a vote, even though I offered no new ideas. Katie Young and I started into the unknown. I had no idea how to do layout, and contrary to popular belief, to this day I’ve never taken a journalism class, or had any formal training. For Djerdj and I, our motto was “f#%& it.”
Looking back at my first stories, I notice two things: First, I was a pretty damn good reporter and I’m wondering where my motivation went; Second, the paper was only four to eight pages long, with maybe one or two pages per section. The edition you see before you is 28 pages. There are a number of factors that have caused such an increase in output, but I’ve been very excited to see the Free Press grow on my watch.
As editor, I’ve been intimately involved in the production of 30 12 to 20 page issues and one April Fool’s edition. That’s a lot of newspapers. As a result, I probably know more about what has happened these past four years at McDaniel than anyone else. You probably don’t know this, but in the beginning, I would estimate that the other editor and I spend about 15-30 hours putting together the Free Press. It ain’t no joke. It takes a lot of hard work from everyone, and I offer my highest gratitude.
Former editors have often talked about leaving their lasting mark on the paper. For me, I hope that the next generations of college students will continue to develop and explore the possibilities of the website I painstakingly, yet happily, designed. I have said this many times before in these pages, but the internet represents a new opportunity for civic involvement. I charge the McDaniel College community to keep updating McDanielFreePress.com.
Thank you, everyone, for letting me edit your newspaper.