From the Editor: ‘Thank you, Carbondale’

By Brian Munoz, Editor in Chief

I’ve spent hundreds of hours within the four walls of the newsroom surrounded by extremely bright colleagues, whether at the Daily Egyptian or River Region Evening Edition.

I’ve also probably rewritten this column at least a dozen times throughout the past six months but the truth of it all is it can not possibly be the end of the semester and thus, the end of my time at The Daily Egyptian.

I’ve made a bad habit of counting the last few weeks at the paper as “lasts.”

The last time I would have to fight with InDesign to get our files to save. The last time I would experience the warm smell of coffee wafting into the newsroom. The last time we would make deadline by the skin of our teeth. The last time I would trip on our old carpet. The last time we would get another piece of mail claiming we’re contributing to “the decline and death of the university.”

It would be a lie if I told you I was entirely prepared to take on this role – I don’t think anyone truly is. It is a huge undertaking but it has provided me a valuable experience which I would have not been able to get otherwise. Learning how to think on your toes, build sources and tell important stories within a community are only a very select few things you learn as a student journalist at the Daily Egyptian.

While research for our SIU 150 special issue, I found the paper’s original motto emblazoned on the masthead.

“Fiat lux” it reads, Latin for “Let there be light.” The motto resonated with me as I worked through the semester with our core founding mission in mind. We are

Munoz and Sansa on Tuesday outside the College of Mass Communications and Media Arts at SIU Carbondale

here to shine light on important issues within our communities – we are the watchdogs. 

During my time at the Daily Egyptian, we’ve reported on social justice issues, improper university hires, mismanaged university money, a controversial academic restructuring, administrative policy, an athletics department running a cumulative deficit of over $40 million, the death of a chancellor and a system embroiled in a funding battle which ultimately led to the fall of a university president.

On the same hand, we’ve reported on all southern Illinois has to offer – pigs and all.

Our coverage across the community has brought national recognition to the university from our stories and work gaining awards from the Illinois College Press Association, the Hearst Journalism Contests and the Associated Collegiate Press. This year, we won our second “Online Pacemaker” from the ACP – the Pacemaker is often called the “Pulitzer Prize of Collegiate Journalism.”

All of this would not be possible without the dedication of the Daily Egyptian staff and our readership. We may be small but we pack a punch in the world of student journalism. I truly can not put into words the astonishment I get when I see the work and drive our staff has – the future of journalism is bright.

Despite arguments and adversities in our campus and community – we are one big family. I’ve been blessed to have experienced all the Daily Egyptian, Southern Illinois University and the Carbondale community has to offer.

I will dearly miss our southern Illinois’ rolling hills, streaming rivers and breathtaking forests. I’m going to miss early morning breakfasts at Sunny Street Diner. 

I’m going to miss lining the field with the Marching Salukis and hyping up the crowd for home football games. I’m going to miss the family which I’ve built at this university. I wouldn’t be the same person if it weren’t for my experiences in Carbondale and at Southern Illinois.

The Daily Egyptian may not always be the same. The design might change, you might notice new faces or even a new carpet in the newsroom, but our mission will continue to be the same – celebrating triumphs, challenging adversities, telling the stories of our community and keeping those in power accountable to their actions.

Thank you for allowing me to lead the Daily Egyptian for a short while and I hope you stay tuned to see what happens. While my work here is done, the Daily Egyptian staff is working on their next story. Thank you to the Carbondale and SIU communities for letting us tell your stories.

Fiat lux,

Brian Munoz
Editor in Chief, Spring 2019
The Daily Egyptian

Brian Munoz, Editor in Chief, can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter at @BrianMMunoz. 

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