Webb poses for a senior photo at Cone-Bottoms Hall. She will graduate this semester. (photo by Kasey Dumas)

Print Editor-in-Chief, Emilee Webb, reflects

May 9, 2024

By Emilee Webb, Print Editor-in-Chief

My journey with the Signal started during the fall semester of my sophomore year when Dr. Deborah Root emailed me to see if I’d be interested in joining staff as a writer. I’m not a communications major; my background is English and political science, but my love of words and stories led me to join the staff and enter the brand new world of news writing. My first semester, I was taken aback by just how different the Signal’s style of writing was than what I was used to. AP style made absolutely no sense to me, and I quite literally almost quit when the editor at the time told me that I couldn’t use the Oxford comma. 

There’s nothing that could have prepared sophomore Emilee for what the Signal would come to mean to her by her senior year. This year, Dr. Root and Dr. Carter trusted me enough to take on the role as print editor-in-chief of the Signal. This role has been challenging and exhausting at times, but it has taught me so much in such a short time. Here are three lessons I’ve learned during my year:

  1. Monitoring and adjusting is key. Not everything is going to go according to plan one-hundred percent of the time. There were days when certain stories did not make it to print that I was excited about. And, there were days when ideas were scrapped entirely. However, the paper still had to be edited. The show must go on. So, yes, there were days when everything did not go to plan, but being able to push through and submit a finished product taught me quick-thinking skills and perseverance. 
  2. The people are what matter. Interacting with people is an important part of the Signal. As editor, I communicated with every member of the staff each week to ensure that the very best product was submitted to the printer. However, communicating with staff was not just a part of the job. I found some great friendships through this role and cherished every meeting with the wonderful Signal staff. In addition, I found that the people of Ouachita truly matter and their stories deserve to be told. Interviewing the people featured on the covers of the Signal is not just a way to get quotes; it is a way to find out people’s stories and what makes them unique. Even though we are a small campus, there are so many amazing people who have not had their stories told. I am honored to have played a small part in telling them.
  3. Not everything has to be perfect. At the beginning of the year, I would stress about every single word and every space on every page, and I would over analyze every edition after it went to the printer even though there was nothing I could do to change any mistakes I might have found. Doing great work is important, but it is almost impossible to ensure perfection. The hardest lesson I had to learn this year was that it is okay to make a mistake. Mistakes are how we grow. Each and every one of us is human, and there is no way to completely erase human error in a creative work. 

Overall, this experience has taught me so much, more than I could even put into words. I am incredibly grateful to have been given this opportunity and to have been trusted to put Ouachita’s stories on the page. This campus will always be my home, and I’m grateful to have played a small part in recording its history. 

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