Published in Ewha Voice. June, 2001
When I first entered the small conference room to be interviewed, there was a row of professional-looking young women in dark suits sitting there quietly, watching my every movement before swooping down on me with questions sharper than claws. One in particular remains stuck in my head and I remember asking it again when I interviewed cub reporters a couple months ago: You already know what the Ewha Voice can do for you. What can you do for the Ewha Voice?
Perhaps John F. Kennedy is seething somewhere, accusing us of plagiarism, but the question is too good to overlook. Being a reporter for a school newspaper fills in a nice place on one’s resume- and you improve your writing and social skills while you’re at it. A dandy package deal. However, as all relationships need some form of ‘give and take’ I thought it was important that each reporter contribute something to our beloved organization– to prove to others and herself that her presence makes a difference.
As I look at our latest edition, I see that there have been many changes since I first entered. We have gone from four pages to eight, increased the number of copies printed, and changed the atmosphere of the office to a more comfortable one. We have also started to include advertisements; I was the first one to find a company who was willing to advertise in our paper. Of course, all the things we did together, under our editor’s direction, were difficult. But my own biggest accomplishment and challenge was a task that I had to do all alone– launching the online version of Ewha Voice.
An active Internet user myself, I was at first very surprised to find that we did not have our own homepage. Knowing the importance of online journalism, I was actually embarrassed. If a foreigner wanted to know about Ewha, where would he or she look? The first stop would probably be Ewha’s homepage and the second would most likely be the Ewha Voice, which is the only English media on campus. Considering the fact that the school administration has been actively pursuing relations with foreign universities, cyber lectures, and courses taught in English, it was hard to understand that the Voice did not even have a homepage where one could view current as well as past issues.
When I approached the editor (I was a cub reporter then) she was too busy with other affairs and when I insisted that I thought we should make our own web site she casually remarked, “Well, you do it then.”
So I did. I started studying web design and how to post our paper on the Internet. At last, I was able to open the site, which had no fancy design but was easy to navigate. Now it has been about a year since we went online, and we pride ourselves on being up to date. Although the site needs polishing, I’m sure I’ve built a good foundation for my juniors to work on.
So all in all, the Voice and I made a very good deal. I received my share of journalistic experiences, found great friends, and learned what it was like to be part of a professional organization. In return, I gave my enthusiasm and what skills I had to take the paper and our group of reporters one step forward. And now I can rely on my juniors to continue the work.
A newspaper is not just a bundle of words and pictures. It lives. Every edition is a new-born child, the miraculous outcome of gritty labor, long nights in front of the computer, and struggles to find the ‘perfect’ words. And like a child, each struggle and each reporter’s contribution is special and important in its own way. Because, you see, miracles don’t just happen at the Ewha Voice. We make them.