Clocking Out

By: Samantha Latos sl1099@plymouth.edu

Writing a formal goodbye to Plymouth State University and to the publication I have been with for the past four years from my bedroom 160 miles away feels surreal. I never thought that my senior year would end with having to cancel three editions of ‘The Clock’ due to a global pandemic. Going into this position in the spring of 2019, I anticipated normal newsroom anxieties like printed spelling mistakes, failing to fact check, or losing power during a Wednesday editing night (which did happen, once). My full year of being Editor In Chief was eventful and rewarding and I am so sad that the world is sick right now and that it will probably stay that way for a long time. As the class of 2020 grieves our senior year, I find happiness in knowing that I will see my friends I have made at ‘The Clock’ again. 

I got involved with ‘The Clock’ as soon as I could back in my freshman year. I started out as a campus news writer and I absolutely loved it even though I had major stage fright while interviewing. Gradually, I became more outgoing by putting myself out there and talking to as many people for as many stories as I could. One of my favorite parts about writing for ‘The Clock’ was taking my passion for writing and combining it with the skill of gathering information.

Highlights from my sophomore year were becoming Kelsey Davis’s assistant for News, attending the 2017 ACP/CMA National College Media Convention, and officially becoming the News Editor. Looking back, that was my most successful year of college because I was able to learn and grow so much in a short amount of time.

One of my greatest accomplishments as Editor In Chief was opening up the Plymouth Voices section, which had been thriving with series and poetry before the pandemic. One of the first things I did as Editor In Chief was brainstorm what to do with the fiction part of the Features Section with then-editor Jordan Cady. She had the idea to change fiction to Plymouth Voices to make it more inclusive to other genres. I revamped the paper and made Plymouth Voices its own section. It’s now an outlet for creative writers to publish their original pieces, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Upon returning from the 2019 ACP/CMA National College Media Convention this past fall, I was so excited to improve ‘The Clock’s design in print. I attended many sessions about how to make newspapers more “attractive.” I integrated pull quotes into articles, shared ideas for better headlines, and collaborated with Noah Young, our Production Manager, on a new logo. We used more photos on the covers of prints and wrote captions to give context to each photo. Comparing my first and last prints as the Editor In Chief is wild; it’s amazing how simple changes to design can enhance the look of a newspaper so much.

Although the future of our printed newspaper is still up in the air right now, there is no doubt in my mind that ‘The Clock’ will come back stronger than ever due to the leadership skills of my successor. Our current News Editor, Justine Walsh, will be taking over as Editor In Chief of ‘The Clock’ as of the fall 2020 semester. She is intuitive, intelligent, creative, and resilient. I am sure that Walsh will continue to bring joy to the newsroom and do an excellent job as Editor In Chief.

I would like to thank the current staff and our advisor, Matthew Cheney, for working with me and creating some of the best-written content I have seen from ‘The Clock’ during my time at PSU. This publication has taught me confidence and assertiveness and it’s one of the many reasons I will always cherish Plymouth, NH.