Katare: Thank you

Priyanshi Katare, Opinion Editor

In my opening letter this quarter, I promised that I would work towards making sure that every voice was heard. To my readers and writers, I hope that I have lived up to that promise.

Being an editor for the Opinion desk seemed daunting. As a campus reporter I adapted myself to the nuances of basic reporting. The only bases that needed to be covered when I was writing stories were sources and information about the event or issue that was being reported on.

Being an Opinion editor demanded more of me. The one thing that most people don’t realize is that it’s difficult to write an article when you yourself are the source of your stories. It requires vulnerability and the willingness to be open to criticism without letting it question your experiences and your own reality. To all my writers that were brave enough to do this, thank you so much.

When I began this quarter I had only one goal in mind — to provide a safe space for everyone to be able to voice their concerns and critiques. This University at times it makes it difficult to do so and I considered it to be my job to make it as easy as possible for different students to share their experiences.

It’s very easy to get lost in the collective narrative at Northwestern, and often this means personal experiences are overlooked. Personally, I believe that these unique experiences teach us more than the generalized trends ever could and this quarter, the opinion desk aimed to be a mouthpiece for these experiences.

At the beginning of this quarter, both Pallas and I agreed that we wanted to cover human-centric issues and wanted to highlight the problems that affect students on campus. It’s not easy to talk about such issues, and we’re grateful for every columnist who took on this task. Our columnists taught me an immense amount this quarter, but perhaps one of the greatest lessons I have learned from them is to always speak my truth.

The aim was to make The Daily a place of exchange and to ensure that every time someone came in with a piece they’d written, it made us more aware of the different intersections that existed in our society — even if we weren’t necessarily stakeholders in those interactions. The vision was that every time someone picked up the paper, they would learn more about their surroundings than they knew before.

However, being an editor requires internal regulation as well. I think the one thing that concerned me the most was my personal bias and whether or not that would allow me to be a facilitator for a wide variety of opinions. I wanted to do this section of the newspaper justice and I think in some ways I also felt like some changes had to be made. However, I wanted to make sure that the changes weren’t self-motivated and were guided by the interests that affected my community.

At the beginning of this process, I wanted to make sure that the opinion column was as diverse as it could possibly be. Diversity for me meant more than just having representations from different schools. I wanted to be able to provide people a space for voicing their political, legal and cultural views irrespective of where they were coming from.

Every time I stepped into the newsroom I reminded myself of one thing — I was here for the Northwestern community.

The last few weeks were difficult and this reminder was the only thing that helped me keep going. I had never imagined that I would wake up to several emails questioning the caliber of an edit board I had come to admire and respect. As difficult as reading those emails and reflecting on them was, they helped me build a sense of perseverance in the face of adversity.

The events made me question my motivation behind doing what I did. I think for a couple of days I questioned my place in The Daily and more so, in the Northwestern community. However, every time I was plagued by this thought I flipped through a copy of the newspaper and it showcased an amazing community of people that was ready to stick with each other through it all. The Daily has given me a place that feels like it belongs to me and I never thought that I could find it and for that I will always be grateful.

I still have a lot more to learn and I am sure that my remaining time at The Daily will teach me alot. With every editorial cycle, newspaper sections keep getting better and I hope that whoever takes the role of being the Opinion editor after Pallas and I keeps adapting this section to meet the needs of the community this paper caters to.

The news doesn’t stagnate and we must make changes along the way. Changes don’t come without difficulties and sometimes they don’t fit the norm. Nonetheless, the news must evolve and be an ever expanding domain of experiences and concerns that give a realistic idea of how society functions.

With that, I bid this quarter and the opinion section goodbye.

Priyanshi Katare is a Weinberg sophomore. She can be contacted at [email protected]. If you would like to respond publicly to this op-ed, send a Letter to the Editor to [email protected]. The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of all staff members of The Daily Northwestern.