It’s almost impossible to picture college without thinking of my time at the Herald. Almost to the day I was on campus for freshman year orientation I was hired as a designer, and from there just about spent all my time at Student Publications.
I learned a lot during my three years at the Herald.
Sure, the basics. How to write a headline, what good reporting is, what good reporting isn’t, how to design a page, AP style, etc.
Perhaps, if anything, it’s the relationships I formed that truly made the Herald special. To this day two of my best friends in the world are from my time at the Herald. We’ve transcended being on student newspaper together and living close by to hours-long road trips to see each other and trips around the country.
Beyond that, the cultivation of professional relationships during my time at the Herald were invaluable to where I am now. I landed my first internship because of the fellowship program at Student Publications. My next internship was through a connection via my Herald adviser. The next one? An alum of the Herald who had mentored me. All were paid and at great news organizations.
And because of those internships, I now work as a page designer at one of the best local papers in the country (The Charleston Post and Courier) designing the front page almost everyday. The lessons I learned and the experiences I had at the Herald are thought of and used almost daily.
Without those pieces of the puzzle to get me started, my career path would look dramatically different.
All student newsrooms must be protected, financially secure and free to publish the truth. These spaces are sacred for young journalists. They provide a place to learn, yes, but also connect with other young journalists and network.
Learn leadership. Learn how to work under people. Sometimes, how to work with people you might not agree with all the time. And more than anything, a place to be creative and have fun with journalism. I feel strongly that all collegiate journalists deserve that.
This letter is part of the #SaveStudentNewsrooms movement. A student-led campaign designed to bring attention to the challenges student newsrooms face.
Cameron Love is a former editor-in-chief of the Herald for the spring 2015 semester. He’s currently a news designer at The Charleston Post and Courier.