The Volante is already a small staff — with only 13 executive staff members and five more reporters. This year, we have focused on being a team and working together. I’m so grateful we made teamwork a priority early.
This is not how I or any Editor-in-Chief wanted this semester to conclude, but we have all found a way to prove once again the importance of college journalism.
College journalists face adversity on a daily basis. It is easy to overlook the importance of young reporters, as we are still learning. But college journalists hold a special place in the journalism world.
The Volante, despite our small staff, tells the stories of our campus and the greater community on a weekly basis. Community members turn to us for their news.
And this time of crisis is no different.
Most of our executive staff members are freshmen or sophomores and when classes were moved online, they had to move out of their temporary homes back home far away from Vermillion. Of the 13 on executive staff, only four remain in Vermillion for the rest of the semester.
Despite that, we put out a full issue after two weeks of — ten pages of content.
While only four of us were able to physically be at one last print night in our beloved newsroom, we had contributions from every member on staff.
When I found out our university was transitioning to online learning, I was devastated.
I didn’t want The Volante to end. We were supposed to have more time, tell more stories, have more print nights.
No one wanted it to be over.
Our staff, despite not being able to be in the newsroom, came together and put together a full issue. We had a freshman reporter step up and write the centerpiece story from his hometown. Our executive designer designed our news section and made spectacular graphics from her childhood home. Our other page designers couldn’t be there, but our managing editor took on another task and designed our Verve section and our social media director designed our opinion section.
Every single staff member took on an additional role to make it possible for us to tell stories remotely.
I have never been in an empty newsroom and felt the presence of so many people.
When you look at The Volante, you see our teamwork. Despite being separated, we are closer than ever. Distance has made us closer and made us a better team.
For the rest of the semester, we have moved to an online-only paper, as we will be even more remote now that we can’t be in our newsroom.
I think a lot of people expect college journalists to take a step back during this time of uncertainty, but The Volante will be producing the same amount of content each week.
Working for a newspaper in a small town presents a level of expectation. Most community members turn to The Volante for their news. We as staff know they are relying on us to tell the stories of Vermillion during this crisis.
The Volante may not be physically together, but that will not stop us from reporting the news of USD and Vermillion. We have worked together all year and we will continue working together during self-quarantine.