Letter from the editor: You matter most, so share your thoughts

Dear Oakland Post reader,

I’m not sure if you know me or not, but I’ve been here for some time — one  year and seven months, to be precise. That’s quite long, as far as length spent at the Post goes. (We come and go like flies.)

I began as a reporter in September 2013, worked my way up to managing editor in March 2014, and now I’ve made it as editor-in-chief (words can’t describe how excited I am for this, so I won’t even try). While I’m sure you all care about my timeline immensely, there’s one main reason I’m telling you this: I’ve loved the Post since day one and I’ve loved every moment spent here.

I’ll be blunt: Before coming to the Post, I didn’t take it very seriously. I’m not sure I was even aware Oakland University had a student newspaper. I only found out about it after my JRN 200 teacher, Holly Gilbert, recommended I come here.

I took her advice and discovered there is so much more to this paper than I had ever imagined.

I’ve seen so many of the Post’s ups and downs, and I’ve felt the real traumas and triumphs of a college journalism student. It’s been quite the eye-opening experience, and I feel like an entirely different person than I was one year and seven months ago.

This letter is my chance to tell you, the reader, directly: We care. We care deeply about what we do.

You might not guess it, but there are students that spend countless hours on this paper to make it the best it can be. There is nothing produced by faculty or staff members — this is purely student-made.

There is a talented team of writers, photographers, copy editors, designers and editors that work to make the web and print issue something that is interesting, informative and beneficial to the community. There are advertisers that try to bring in revenue so we can invest in more projects and products. There are distributors that try to connect with readers and represent the Post in a positive manner. And there’s an editor-in-chief that won’t sleep until everyone’s done their best work.

We’re here, we’re working, and we care.

At the same time, I want to remind you that we are students.

This paper is where we come to learn how to write, research and report interesting, informative and accurate content. This is where we come to learn how to develop the right emotional and social skills needed to interview strangers and to publish stories that might threaten our organization and careers as students.

Being a student is no excuse, but it’s something to keep in mind. We don’t want our work to be sloppy, but we will make mistakes.

Oh, we make mistakes. But that doesn’t mean we don’t care.

So first, reader, I will make a promise to you: I promise to do the best I can, and to learn how to continue making this a paper OU can be proud of. I promise to provide you with fresh, quality content that informs the OU community and inspires conversation on topics that matter to you. 

We will seek the truth and report it, and we will give a voice to the voiceless. This mantra is the foundation of journalism and something we are taught from the beginning.

But in order to fulfill this promise, I need you, the reader, the reason we make this paper, to be open and honest with us.

Tell us what you want to know. Tell us what you enjoy reading. Tell us what you’re disappointed in. Tell us how we can get better.

You won’t hurt us by sending kind, constructive criticism. In fact, it’s more than welcome. Any feedback is good feedback, I like to say.

Our main goal is to engage and inform you, our audience. You’re what matters the most, and so does your opinion. How will we get better without knowing what you want?

So I am asking you today: please share your opinion freely. We simply ask that you remember who we are and what we are trying to do when you share that opinion.

It’s going to be another year full of crazy and cool things. I hope I get to know more of you during it.

So please, take this to heart and reach out. I can’t wait to hear what’s on your mind.

Thank you for your readership and support, and thank you in advance for your thoughts.

It’s going to be a great year and I’m absolutely honored to have a chance at this role.

Thank you,

Kaylee Kean