COREY: I grew up while working at The Daily Targum

From the Editor's Desk

It was a crisp, sunny Sunday afternoon. Not even a week prior I moved into Allen Hall on Busch campus, and I was very aware that I was out of place as a journalism student living with mostly STEM majors. It only made sense for me to stop by The Daily Targum’s editorial office (located at 26 Mine St. at the time) and check out the weekly writers’ meeting that was posted on their website. I still remember how I was greeted: “Welcome! … Yikes, what writers’ meeting?”

Fast-forward to a few days later, I was taking the EE to Bayard Street for my first story. It was about local Hub City businesses making pop-up parks out of parking spaces, and I barely knew what I was doing. I distinctly remember trying really hard to score an interview with the mayor of New Brunswick because I thought doing so would impress the editors. I was unsuccessful. What I submitted was pure garbage, to say the least, but it certainly added a new degree of humbleness to “humble beginnings.” At the time, I never knew I would become the editor that others tried to impress, and that I would break three national news stories after interviewing the 44th president of the United States.

The Targum has been the only real constant in my life for the past two and a half years. I don’t really know what it’s like to be a Rutgers student without also being a member of the Targum’s editorial staff. I never got to see the sunset regularly at Rutgers until this semester, and I’m still not used to getting enough sleep at night (not that I’m complaining) or feeling like I have enough time to do anything in general. I guess the best way I can describe it is that it’s similar to “The Shawshank Redemption,” when Red’s adjusting to life on the outside. But even though the Targum has been a source of stress like any job would be, I cannot overstate the amount of benefit I’ve derived from my experience at the college newspaper.

2016 was the most turbulent yet rewarding year I’ve ever endured, both privately and professionally. There’s no question that overseeing the Targum’s referendum demanded every ounce of energy, as the editors’ jobs and the future of the second-oldest college newspaper in the United States were on the line. But days after the referendum passed, I was invited to the first White House College Reporter Day and secured the opportunity of a lifetime. I asked former President Barack Obama for an interview in the press briefing room, and we spoke over the phone less than 24 hours after I covered Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) campaign rally at Rutgers last May. Working at a college newspaper during the contentious 2016 presidential campaign made me step into a microcosm of our immensely divided political landscape. I received hate mail and death threats, but I also received support from Rutgers students, alumni and former Targum editors alike. Most importantly, I had the unwavering support from my staff — and for that, I am forever grateful.

With that being said, I can’t say goodbye without thanking the people who made all of this possible. To Board 146: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to train. To Board 147: Thank you for giving me a space to make mistakes. To Board 148, the business department and productions staff: Thank you for giving me a chance to lead. To Avalon and Nik: Thank you for putting up with me, and for always being by my side during the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. And to Alex, Katie and Board 149: Thank you for being the best possible group that I could ever imagine passing the torch on to.

The Daily Targum threw me up, tossed me around, chewed me up and spit me out. But I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I’m going to miss the late nights in the room I’ve been lucky to call my own office. I’m going to miss hearing the office’s gentle buzzing noise after everyone else is gone around 1 a.m. I’m going to miss the momentary peace of walking down the empty streets of New Brunswick after finishing the day’s work. But what I’m going to miss most is working with my best friends. The Targum made me grow up both as an individual and as a professional — and it gave me so much more than I could have ever asked for.

Dan Corey is a Rutgers Business School junior majoring in journalism and media studies and marketing. He is a former editor-in-chief of The Daily Targum.

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