My first time as a reporter for The Alligator in Summer 2019, I was convinced it was a solo job. I went into the office to finalize my story, answer my editors’ questions, copy edit and I was on my way when they gave me the green light to go home.
The next year I had other commitments, trying my best to play catch up after switching majors at the end of my sophomore year, so I didn’t return to the newsroom. I really thought that would be the extent of my run at The Alligator.
I’m glad I was wrong.
I found myself back on staff a year later as a coder and data visualization specialist and moved on to digital managing editor the next semester — both roles done from behind a screen as we navigated remotely due to COVID-19.
Maybe it was the pandemic, maybe it was the people, but even though we were farther away from each other, we were more connected. I looked forward to logging into my meetings with editors, writers, photographers and designers.
We’d start by bouncing ideas from Zoom screen to Zoom screen as we talked about projects and goals, getting sidetracked along the way by someone’s wall art, a sibling walking in or, my personal favorite, a cat seeking attention. We’d talk about ourselves and ask about one another, getting to know the staff we worked with every day to print a paper that week.
My managing team inspired me, taught me and gave me confidence in myself as a journalist. I’m grateful to have been part of a team that cared about elevating staff, encouraging them to do their best work and understanding their circumstances when it inevitably got difficult.
Journalism isn’t a competition, it’s a collaboration.
A collaboration of skills, strengths and people. I’ve seen the amazing things that come out of The Alligator when it comes from a team that communicates and works together. And I hope it continues beyond my time here.
Rosmery was the digital managing editor of The Alligator.