Every night for the past four years, I’ve been surprised by the amount of energy that fills The Daily Nebraskan’s drab basement office tucked away in the underbelly of the Nebraska Union.
Countless reporters and editors flood the office day and night, bringing The DN to life. Even amongst mounting coursework and obligations, The DN somehow manages to consistently put out incredible stories.
There’s a certain dedication that envelops the people who devote their time to this place. Students who are honestly better off studying for classes spend their evenings here working to bring content to thousands of readers each day.
That dedication doesn’t seem to be dying anytime soon. After all, The DN has been bringing news to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus since 1901.
I’ve seen that same determination and excitement to write grow within all of the reporters I’ve had a chance to work with as an editor over the past two years. I’ve seen timid writers who were scared to pitch stories turn into leaders of the newsroom over the course of mere months. Not only that, but the confidence within these writers consistently rises with each passing week.
There’s not really any other place outside The DN where budding writers can fail, learn from their failures and eventually succeed and grow all while publishing stories in a real newsroom.
Like many of the writers I’ve mentored, I first entered this underground newsroom as a terrified, shy freshman unsure of what I wanted from my education here at UNL. However, my experience as a new reporter gave me my first real taste of journalism and ultimately helped me find my true passion for writing.
During my first semester at The DN, I had my fair share of struggles. I’m honestly not even sure how my first story was published, considering the lede was more than 60 words long. It took me a while to find my groove as a writer, but thanks to some incredible mentorship from former editors, my passion for reporting continued to grow.
Now, after four years at The DN, I’m walking away with more confidence as a journalist than I ever could have thought possible.
This newsroom is filled with students whose careers will branch off into wildly different directions. Some will find a paper to write for, while some will probably never have to worry about getting a story in before deadline again. Either way, everyone can take something away from their time at The DN.
Students walk through The DN from a host of different majors, whether it be journalism, political science, agricultural engineering or something even more obscure. Even so, we all walk away with the experience of working in this newsroom on our minds for years to come.
Regardless of our field of study, all of us leave here with a degree in The DN.
Senior sports editor