Courtesy of Ben Rosenfeld.

Position(s): Fall 2021 New Staff Educator, 2020 Senior News Editor

Section(s): News; Culture, Training and Inclusion

Semesters at The Daily: 7

I first joined The Michigan Daily nearly three and a half years ago out of impulse, having written for my high school newspaper and choosing journalism as a way to gain a sense of direction in an demanding, unfamiliar and competitive college environment. Upon first entering the newsroom, I remember feeling astounded by the realness of it all, understanding that this was where true reporters worked. But the idea that I could become a part of that ecosystem and be proud of the work I produced was wholly unanticipated. 

The Daily has given me some of my most memorable and cherished moments of college. Often, I’ll look at past articles and try to remember what it was like to be in Iowa with Maya and Annie racing from Des Moines to Cedar Rapids to cover the next campaign rally, or in Fleming with Leah in a tense meeting with government relations. Even obligatory appearances at SACUA continually instill the lesson that no important job should go unfinished and that standards of coverage must be upheld no matter the inconvenience.

Friends outside The Daily were often confused about why I dedicated so much time and effort to it, seeing the work as fruitless past having your name published in print. But each new event cover, interview or investigation taught me how to think on my feet, deal with urgent and stressful situations and understand the value of my words. Now, whenever a friend points to an investigative story The Daily has broken or someone identifies me solely as the guy who works for The Daily, I feel immense pride to be associated with an organization made up of students who have accomplished what only we can. 

I’m so appreciative of everyone who made burnt-out nightsides and breaking news onslaughts manageable and even enjoyable. Leah, you’ve been a tremendous role model for what a political journalist should look like. I’m so grateful for your ability to understand government at every level, while still not taking it all too seriously — I also don’t think I ever would have considered applying to Ford if it weren’t for your input and perspective. Sayali, you truly held our group of editors together through thick and thin. As a new reporter on News, I thought you were such a fantastic example of how to balance school and work and give them both your full effort. As a new ANEd, I always enjoyed our Tuesday daysides at 420 Maynard.

To the 2020 Gov Beat — Emma, Sarah, Julia Forrest and Julia Fanzeres, I really couldn’t have asked for a better group of reporters. You met every challenge that came your way and made work as an editor incredibly easy and fun. 

Finally, Alex, Barbara, Claire, Emma and Liat, you all supported me more times than I can count. I think back to our first night of production as SNEds in December 2019, wondering what I had gotten myself into upon seeing firsthand the year of work we would be faced with. But coming in with each of you as reporters made this challenge immensely less daunting. I’ve had so much fun working with all of you and couldn’t have asked for a more supportive and inclusive class of SNEds. I’m so grateful we’ve been able to stay in touch despite the last year and our SNEd terms ending — hopefully our collective group chat will keep going long past graduation. 

Looking back on my freshman year self, questioning whether I should commit so much time and effort to an organization I felt overwhelmed by, I feel grateful I made the decision I did. There are the little things — The Daily has solidified my love of em dashes and admiration for FOIAs, and of course The Daily has taught me to be a better writer, communicator and leader. But more than anything, being a part of The Daily has shown me all the things I don’t know, pushing me to chase down and seek to understand them. 

TMD has forced me to jump into the deep end since day one, and I’m forever grateful.