The Oakland Post

Letter from the editor: Crossing boarders

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Letter from the editor: Crossing boarders

Shelby Tankersley,

Shelby Tankersley, Editor-in-Chief

Shelby Tankersley, Editor-in-Chief

Shelby Tankersley, Editor-in-Chief

Shelby Tankersley, Editor-in-Chief

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Hey readers,

So this guy from North Carolina comes up to me and proceeds to tell me that he’s the best thing to ever happen to sports journalism.

OK dude, whatever.

I was standing in front of him, wishing that he knew how dumb he sounded, when it crossed my mind that confidence as a student journalist is perhaps the best tool you can have.

My Managing Editor Cheyanne and I spent most of last week in Dallas, Texas at the Associated Collegiate Press’ and the College Media Association’s National College Media Conference learning how to do our jobs better.

Essentially, a bunch of professionals sat hundreds of college editors down and taught us how to suck less.

Every last Editor-in-Chief went into the conference thinking the same thing I did: that their newspapers and their staffs are the best thing since The New York Times.

We all then proceeded to discover how much we still have left to learn and how much better we could be teaching our staffs.

Especially in a field like journalism, learning is never supposed to end.

But, aside from learning how to be a better EIC to my staff and to our readers, the biggest thing I took from the conference was that I can learn from people who don’t live their lives the way I do.

Because the conference was in Texas, most of the students there were from the South. I will praise the Midwest until the day I die, because people from the South live life much differently than us Michiganders do.

For instance, while southern folks are very hospitable, they will not hold back in telling you that the way you do something is, in their opinion, totally stupid (that guy from North Carolina wasn’t very good at making new friends).

But I did learn something from them.

If you’ve never been to Texas, just know that the people who live there think that Texas is the only state in America that actually matters (I can say that, my dad is from the Houston area). But, some of that well-placed pride drives the EICs and editors to lead teams of student journalists that do great work because they all really believe that they’re great.

I met a group of editors from San Antonio that gave an entire presentation on the way they run their newsroom because they are proud of the way they do things.

Cheyanne and I had a chance to speak with their adviser and we were able to trade ideas as well as emails so we can, hopefully, continue to learn from each other.

So the South has confidence, but the Midwest has motivation.

I heard so many horror stories of staffs that go MIA on their editors and never take criticism well. I have been told by more than one Oakland University professor that one defining characteristic of our student body is our willingness to work hard for what we want.

My staff has their low moments, but they make me proud to be their EIC because of their continual willingness to learn and improve.

This past week The Post was given a lot of criticism, but it was praised for its staff. What made our school stand out is the way our students work hard.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m going to take that hard work and add some southern moxy to it so this Michigan gal can really do something great.


Shelby Tankersley

1 Comment

One Response to “Letter from the editor: Crossing boarders”

  1. Tilda Brown Swanson on November 16th, 2017 12:21 pm

    Hi Shelby, I can’t find how to submit a press release on the website and I wanted to send an email to Connor McNeely who had an article on the October 17th Poetry Reading in honor of my father, who was Maurice Brown, a Professor of English at Oakland from 1961 – 1985.
    So, I will cut and paste my press release here as a comment! Please let me know if you are interested in more info. Thanks, Tilda (recently returned from Rochester to Des Moines Iowa)
    Brown Family Book Donation Press Release
    Key Words: Oakland University, Ron Brown College Prep High School, Book Donation, Libraries, Maurice Brown Poetry Reading, Judith Kredel Brown Distinguished Professor, Brown Family Donation
    Press Release: For Immediate Release
    Imagine around 2000 books traveling from Rochester, Michigan to Washington DC. Books of American literature and poetry and books about African tribes, North American Indians, cross cultural perspectives and human development will be making their way east later this month as the libraries of long time Professors Maurice F Brown, and Judith Kredel Brown are donated to the Ron Brown College Prep High School in Washington, DC.
    Maurice Brown was a Professor of English at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan from 1961 until his death in 1985 and Judith Brown was a Professor of Anthropology at Oakland from 1969 until she retired in 2011. Their daughter, Mathilde Brown Swanson, now a resident of Des Moines, Iowa, has been working for the past two years with a consultant to have the libraries of her parents cataloged to prepare for the donation. It was more difficult to find the best place for the books. “I considered many libraries, high schools, colleges and retirement homes, but none of them seemed to be a good fit.” stated Brown Swanson, who wanted to find a good educational setting for the books. Finally, she heard an NPR program a few weeks ago, part of a three part series on the Ron Brown High School, on the radio (and also available as podcasts) and knew if their library needed books that it would be a good home for the books.
    The Ron Brown High School is an all-male public high school in Washington, D.C. that recognizes the importance of educating and developing young men of color. RBHS provides a rigorous and comprehensive college preparatory curriculum that infuses culturally responsive teaching and social emotional instruction to ensure that all young men are prepared to successfully navigate their post high school pursuits. Brown Swanson has been working with the Librarian of the school, Kenneth Nero to complete the shipment and donation of the books.
    Oakland University and the Brown Family also host an annual poetry reading to honor Maurice F Brown’s years as a professor. The latest event was held in October 2017 .

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