COVID-19 changed everything as we know it.
At The Star, we have not printed in weeks, our newsroom is quiet, all meetings take place on Zoom and we are severely limited in what work we can do in-person. We do not know when we will print again, and it is unclear if we will be able to safely return to campus in the fall.
But even with the uncertainty, life goes on in the newsroom. Seniors graduate, new people are hired and everyone is expected to do their jobs—a transition does not become an excuse to fall off. If anything, transitioning made one thing certain: The Star’s new editorial board is driven and focused on continuing to inform the San Marcos and Texas State community.
We would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the challenges our community has faced over the last several weeks. None of us imagined that a semester usually filled with award ceremonies, sitting in the grass of Sewell Park and planning for summer vacations would consist of a global pandemic disrupting lives and experiences.
Students were forced to leave Texas State’s dorms and return home. Sports were canceled, leaving some senior athletes without a completed farewell season. Professors had to prepare an online curriculum with little preparation time. The administration had to make last-minute decisions and do so in a timely and efficient manner.
People lost their jobs and steady income used to pay rent and prepare meals. Businesses shut down and owners struggled to figure out plans to stay financially afloat. These changes transformed our city into a ghost town.
COVID-19 robbed the spring class of 2020 and their families of a memorable in-person commencement ceremony that students dream of when going to college. Some students feel the administration could have found a better alternative to canceling in-person ceremonies—and their feelings matter.
These developments brought us the unfortunate circumstances we are all living through now. They have also helped shape the responsibilities we have placed on ourselves as journalists to best serve you, the people.
We take over with three main goals for this next year: 1) Focus our coverage on and create content revolving around people, meaningful action and creative composition; 2) Transform the way we engage with our audience; 3) Push our organization further into the digital age of journalism.
People across all spectrums making an impact in their communities deserve representation. It is our obligation to ensure that we are listening and responding to our audience; we are more than just journalists. And it is imperative that we adapt to the changes in our industry and continue to push ourselves to be more than just a newspaper.
The future is uncertain, but we are prepared for the challenge.