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Monday, June 17, 2024
Isabella Douglas was the Fall 2023 Editor-In-Chief at The Independent Florida Alligator.
Isabella Douglas was the Fall 2023 Editor-In-Chief at The Independent Florida Alligator.

Breaking news — to a reporter — is its own type of unforgiving hell. Unfortunately, it’s my favorite type of reporting.

When the thoughts in my head are going a mile a minute, when the decision of who to talk to and whether to go somewhere is instinctive and when my fingers dance across the keys of my laptop before hitting send on a draft, this is where I feel most at home.

I’m addicted to jumping into the fire. From turning my fear into adrenaline. The calls, texts and excessive number of open tabs on my Mac — and, when it's over, the unique reassurance of thinking: I could do this for the rest of my life.

Nowhere have I felt this more than at The Alligator. 

This 117-year-old paper has meant everything to me for the past five semesters across four years. It’s taught me the power of journalism, the importance of leaving a legacy and the clarity of what it means to be part of a more than 70-person team. 

It’s bittersweet saying goodbye to a dust-filled office, a paper with ink that stains fingertips and a url that has captivated eyes from places across the country. Yet, it’s invigorating knowing the newsroom will continue to grow without me.

I’ve seen the evolution since Volume 115. From news assistant to editor-in-chief, I’ve watched as staff learned from one another; first with COVID-19 then with investigations then with breaking news and hopefully, with my own addition of data and code. My final semester at The Alligator I’ve seen an unwavering commitment to weaving narratives not just with words but with the support of data analysis.

I’m eager to see what comes next. 

To Carolina, Eve and Alex — the uni-girls — thank you for teaching me everything I needed to know to succeed at The Alligator and in journalism. From being one of the best editors I’ve ever had to being my right-hand woman to pushing me toward data and code, you all were the beginning of my Alligator journey.

To Faith and the Summer 2022 metro desk, thank you for putting up with my daily calls, emojis and spreadsheets. Metro4ever.

To Makiya and Alan, thank you for making me laugh even when we were all exhausted from breaking national news.

To Emma and Claire, thank you for being leaders in your own right. We were always in sync, making every day easier and each challenge an opportunity.

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And to the readers who have supported The Alligator, thank you for never giving up on us.

I suppose it's time to close all these tabs and fold the final edition of Volume 118.

Isabella Douglas was the Fall 2023 Editor-In-Chief at The Independent Florida Alligator. 


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Isabella Douglas

Isabella Douglas is a fourth-year journalism major and the Fall 2023 editor-in-chief for The Alligator. She has previously worked as the digital managing editor, metro editor, criminal justice reporter and as a news assistant. When she isn't reporting, she can be found reorganizing her bookshelf and adding books to her ever-growing TBR. 


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