A farewell letter from the Editor-in-Chief

Dear Roar readers, former writers, and current staff,

 

When I started my time writing for The Roar as a sophomore, I honestly knew nothing about journalism. I knew that my brother, Micah, had, in the previous year, been one of two co-Editors-in-Chief, and I figured it might be wise to try my hand in a class that he had enjoyed so much. My first few weeks were, in generous terms, shaky. I remember watching my first few articles go through the editorial process. Bit by bit, my editors would question just about each and every part of my pieces.

I can’t blame them. For the sake of a good laugh, I looked back at the unedited versions of those articles. They were atrocious.

But I tried my best, kept my head up, listened to my editors’ advice and worked on writing more cohesively. Sure enough, with time, my work got better. With my improved skills came a newfound interest in reporting. I felt like, for every school event, every athletic competition, every piece of buzzworthy news, there were many stories that deserved to be told and known. And, so, I sought out the stories. I put them on the page. It became more than a class. It became a passion.

What would my passion have been, though, without the people that supported it? After all, I’ve always felt that it was The Roar’s staff that made it such an incredible atmosphere for me. Every editor and every staff writer I’ve encountered in my three years as a member of this spectacular community made the newsroom one of my favorite places at Milken. Nowhere else on campus did I encounter people who were so wholly themselves as those I found writing for The Roar. Everyone was genuine. I was critiqued when I needed to be, uplifted when I needed support and enriched by the energy each person brought to the room during each class.

And then there was the incomparable Ms. K, to whom I owe so much of my journalistic knowledge and instinct. She matched my passion to report with guidance regarding what was actually worth reporting and offered countless other lessons, whether they were about maintaining impartiality while reporting, proper interviewing technique or how to make very specific opinion pieces appeal to more general audiences. I can honestly say that learning from Ms. K has been an absolute pleasure, and I wouldn’t say that about too many teachers. But, in all honesty, the reason I appreciated Ms. K’s teaching was that, rather than teaching the course like any other conventional class (lectures, reading assignments, etc.), she acted like a mentor to me. She was always willing to go above and beyond to help me write to my full potential, and for that, I’m forever grateful.

So, from here, I’m excited to join the audience of The Roar’s readers. As Editor-in-Chief, I’ve seen some of the incredible journalistic talents this year’s staff possesses. As I leave The Roar and Milken as a whole, I have no doubt that, whenever I need a thorough description of any event taking place at my alma mater, I’ll have a reliable source to turn towards.

It is my sincerest hope that The Roar continues to inspire Milken students to pursue and spread truth in the same way that it inspired me. Right now, truth is a commodity. I’d implore all future Roar writers to do their part in making truth more accessible.

More so than anything, though, I hope that each Roar writer can have the same experience I had recently. I hope they can read their earliest articles and then read their most recent work and see the massive growth they’ve made. And I hope that they can take pride in the fact that they were a part of a community as special as this one.

With gratitude,

Ben Chasen

Editor-in-Chief

 

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