Behind the Desk: Through the Lens

Photo courtesy of Joshua Kim

Sorry, Paulina. I know I got this to you a good week after you wanted it. But as I’m sure you know and have seen, being a journalist never stops. So, as I sit in my dark dorm room at 2 a.m. after a long edit session with my lamp light illuminating the keyboard and Mac Miller bumping through my headphones, I figured I should probably explain my job (because yes, Sonali, I actually get work done sometimes).

To be completely honest though, sometimes I have no idea what I’m doing or what to do. In fact, that’s why I’ve been putting off this piece. Being one of the more junior members on the staff, I have some very big shoes to fill. I look at other editors like Danni Wang, our editor-in-chief, or Diana Kruzman, our associate managing editor, who have years of experience ensuring Daily Trojan is available every day, and I ask myself if I will ever have the chance or even simply the stamina to reach that level.

What I do know is that we are a family. Since I am a freshman, I had very few people I knew going into school. I understood getting involved would introduce me to awesome friends, but I had no idea it would be like this. I don’t have to worry about not knowing anyone on campus outside of my dorm, nor do I have to wonder how I’ll be spending my night (the answer is in the newsroom). There’s nothing more I could want.

And of course, being one of the younger editors comes with many advantages. I have the opportunity to make some real, lasting change in the newsroom and institute policies in the photo department that will hopefully last beyond my years at ’SC. Here, people are open to change. Trying new things isn’t anything weird or different. I love it when photographers ask me to pick up extra assignments, when I see the graphics and photos coming together beautifully, or even when I pick up a well composed photo story.

As for now, anything you think being an editor means, is not it at all. Half the time it’s me sitting frantically at a desk typing emails, requesting photos, or harassing my photographers (so if you’re reading this — turn in your photos). Very rarely does my job involve the glamour that comes to mind when I think of photojournalist. And even then, I have to make sure that all my staffers are good before me. With all the protests lately, I want to make sure I’m out there if I can, but also that all my photographers are out there being careful as well. Although the only time they might see me is spamming their Facebook and Gmail, I care about each of them as much as anyone else.

However, I did not realize the incredible experiences I’ve had with DT. Whether it be shooting Drake, PARTYNEXTDOOR and G-Eazy for free, sitting on the sidelines at the Rose Bowl or having a portrait session with President C. L. Max Nikias, my colleagues — my fellow editors — my friends — will always be there to support me. There’s nothing more I could ask. Peace and love.