Here’s to the place that taught me the beauty of truth telling

The Herald helped me see who I want to be

· May 5, 2017 Tweet

Just like everyone else, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I walked up the stairs of 152 W. Johnson St.

I had no idea the amount of sleep I’d lose, the amount of hours I’d spend there. I had no idea I was about to find a family and a purpose.

Because at its core, The Badger Herald is a group of people with a purpose. A group of people committed to telling the truth.

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The truth in a concert review or the truth in a budget proposal. The truth in someone’s story or the truth in someone’s opinion. That truth telling work is beautiful — and it’s crucial for an informed, compassionate and functioning society.

But the process of gathering the truth and writing it down isn’t always pretty, and it’s definitely not always easy.

I knew that when I walked out of the office one 4 a.m. sophomore year. I’d cried that day, probably more than once. I’d spilled coffee on my laptop and probably my psych notes. I was heading to the library to study for a test later that morning I’m sure I hadn’t started studying for.

But as I walked down a deserted State Street I was happy. No, I was elated. Because I knew I’d found the thing I wanted to be for the rest of my life — a truth teller.

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I’d found my place and my passion 800 miles away from home in an above-the-fold story about the Wisconsin state budget. My mom was shocked and so was I.

My first love in journalism was writing about politics. The more obscure the better. Being the resident expert in state politics at the Herald felt good.

But beyond the initial pride of being someone with answers lied a huge amount of responsibility for a 20-year-old who left her wallet everywhere and had been wearing the same sweater for a week.

That responsibility can be stifling. But it showed me I can handle more than I ever would have thought. And it’s crucial, maybe now more than ever. It’s crucial to have people in society who are hopelessly in love with asking questions and telling the truth.

It’s imperative we, whether we’re a student newspaper or The New York Times, never stop filling our days fearlessly pursuing the truth.

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And maybe it’s the long nights in close quarters, but these truth tellers make great friends. I wouldn’t want to spend all night railing on Oxford commas, drinking one too many long islands or share a house — and a home — with anyone else.

Hayley, Emily and Riley, who ran the ship with me — Thanks for being the good cop to my bad cop (or vice versa), thanks for helping me pick up the pieces of pelmeni when they all fall to the ground and everything seems like it’s going to shit. Thanks for being the best writers, the best teachers and the best friends a person could have.

And to the incoming management team, Alice, Yusra and Teymour — You’re not alone. There are people to help you every single step of the way. Trust yourselves, your intuition and don’t let the late nights get to your heads. Be kind to each other, because you’re all in this thing together. Oh also, you’re way more ready for this than you probably think you are.

So tell the truth today. Write it down, check it and hit publish. You’ll make a difference. I promise.


This article was published May 5, 2017 at 7:00 am and last updated Jun 24, 2017 at 12:40 pm


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