Hodge: Farewell from your opinion editor

Jayla Hodge

Editor’s Notes: Traditionally, graduating seniors working at The Collegian are given the chance to write a farewell note at the end of their tenure at CSU.

The first note I ever took in my first journalism class goes as follows: “The media plays a vital role in a democratic society.” Looking back almost four years ago, I wish I knew then how deep this phrase was — and how my years at Colorado State University and student media would teach me its true meaning. 


Writing for this publication and taking on the challenges that come with leading a group of opinionated individuals in a polarizing time, I was intimidated. When the last opinion editor suggested I be editor, I remember being doubtful. She was one of the first people to ask me, “Why not you?” 

Why not me? This was the biggest lesson I’ve learned. 

The late nights spent, tears cried, tracking down sources and the countless hours spent editing or fact checking was not for money or prestige. We aren’t here because we want money or recognition; we are here because we care about the issues and people in our community. 

This is a beautiful motivation. This is the “why” to what we do, what we dedicate so much to: the people in our community.

I learned this year that success is not measured solely by the number of reads. It’s measured by the quality of work done and the people whose voices, particular those that felt unheard, we amplify. It is measured by the community we build in the newsroom and on this campus. 

The biggest privilege of all came from being able to work, learn and grow with some of the most motivated and driven individuals I have met at CSU. In an era of fake news and corrupt big media conglomerates, it’s easy to forget that journalists are people and the nobility behind the pursuit. 

Storytelling is what makes us human. Facts and always seeking the truth keep us accountable. The students I worked alongside all served as examples of what journalism is suppose to and made to be — it makes me excited for the future. 

I want to acknowledge and thank all the people, from those who listened to my tangents in class, to those who let me interview them and to those who just gave me feedback; my utmost thanks. I stood on the shoulders of giants, and I couldn’t have done it without you. 

“I became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the world.”
— Henry Luce



Jayla Hodge

Jayla Hodge was the opinion editor of The Rocky Mountain Collegian. She can no longer be reached at letters@collegian.com, but you may still reach out to her on Twitter @Jaylahodge.