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My retrospective perspective

Jonathan Milakovic ’96

In retrospect, my tenure as reporter and features editor of The Snapper seems all too brief. In the mid-90’s, we stored our stories on antiquated 5-1/4 inch floppy disks. When our computers went down in the days before mass storage, while the internet was still slow and relatively primitive, it meant that the editorial staff had to stay up all night to piece the layouts back together again. We did this out of respect for the campus institution we served, regardless of other academic and social commitments.  We worked without pay, sitting through board meetings and visiting local eateries, trying to find the thread of a story that might interest our fellow students.

After college, my path in life led me away from journalism and to corporate America. The work ethic that I learned during my time as a student journalist is something I still apply to my life and career. The world has changed a lot since those days; I look at the current state of journalism with some sense of disappointment. Seemingly endless stories give celebrity status to those who ultimately prove themselves to merely be human—undeserving of their inflated relevance—while more pertinent stories go unreported.

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Facts should speak for themselves, but news reports increasingly read like opinion pages. Learning the basics of reporting and editing opened my eyes to the editorial bias in stories covered by various media outlets. Even when I may agree with the opinion, I lament the heavy-handed way in which it is often expressed.

My advice for any aspiring journalist is to be thorough in reporting the facts and find the point of interest in each story—no matter how dull an assignment may seem. If the facts lead you to one point of view, report them with minimal bias and trust the intelligence of your audience to draw their own conclusions. It may seem like a thankless job at times but never forget that you are carrying on an important tradition both to our campus and our country. Someday, you will be able to look back on your tenure at The Snapper with a sense of pride like I do.