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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Letter from the Editor: Anonymity gets us nowhere

As the Editor-in-Chief of the independent student newspaper of UMass Boston, I feel eternally grateful for my position and the opportunities it gives me. I’ve met countless people, had experiences I could have only dreamed, and I’ve been put into many unfamiliar situations where I had to behave or respond differently than what may have come natural to me. With my gratitude for the job comes gratitude for our readers and our staff. Knowing that people pick up the paper that we work on tirelessly each week is what pushes me to do better and be better for the paper. I want it to be at its absolute best while I am the Editor-in-Chief. There is nothing I want more than to see the Mass Media thrive in the way it deserves to, but as many newspapers these days, it struggles to keep up with the times in an all-digital world. It’s extremely difficult to thrive as a newspaper when Twitter is at everyone’s fingertips. 
 

Earlier this week, I came into my office at the Mass Media, and I found a copy of a last week’s edition of the paper that had been edited and critiqued throughout with a red pen. Initially, I thought it was from our faculty advisor, which I found odd because the notes were ones I had already gone over with my staff. Still, I figured it was part of the job, so I was open to hearing his critiques in order to improve. However, when I asked my advisor about his notes he left on my desk, he had no idea what I was talking about. He mentioned maybe it was notes from my Managing Editor, which also wouldn’t make sense given the comments. The copy of the paper with red ink throughout was left on my desk anonymously by someone who wants to see the paper head in a different direction.
 

That’s when I decided to write this letter and express my gratitude to the community I have found in UMass Boston and in the Mass Media, as well as our readers. Any time there is someone new who could possibly be interested in a position or have some sort of involvement with the paper, I jump on the opportunity to speak with them. While typically people express their interest with a verbal conversation or an email, this reader wanted to take another route. I feel compelled to invite them back into my office (with myself sitting at the desk this time) and have a conversation with them. Whatever changes you think need to take place in the Mass Media would be insightful for us to hear, and we are always happy to have someone else with an interest in journalism in our office.
The red ink and handwriting make me believe that the anonymous author was a professor. If that’s the case, better yet, we are looking to take on more faculty involvement. 
I want this paper to succeed more than anyone. My decision in coming to UMass Boston was based upon their newspaper involvement, and my ultimate goal from day one has been to be in the position I am currently in. I cannot improve the paper based on anonymous comments left on my desk. Conversations must be had in order for change to be made.
 “Being a critic is easy. But if the critic tries to run the operation, he soon understands that nothing is as easy as his criticisms. Criticism without a solution is merely an inflation of the critic’s ego.” – Haemin Sunim

About the Contributor
Grace Smith, Editor-in-Chief