Amanda Lindner: The final sign-off: Playing back my years at 2140 G

Each year, graduating editors are given 30 final column inches – “30” was historically used to signify the end of a story – to reflect on their time at The Hatchet, published in the final issues of the year.

You know me by my voice. ‘For the Hatchet, I’m Amanda Lindner.’ That’s my sig-out, as it’s called in the broadcast world. If you’ve ever heard it, thank you, thank you, thank you for listening and watching. I hope I’ve been able to entertain you, make you think and make you learn.

I’m here at The Hatchet because I was a traitor. I ditched The Daily Colonial for The Hatchet my junior year. I joined the dark side and I secretly loved every minute of it.

It was Nacin, our Web master who did most of the convincing and Byers, who was the metro news editor at the time, stepped in to make the final push. It was a ‘you like me, you really like me?’ kind of moment and their arguments persuaded me. They’re not so intimidating these days, and I can finally thank them for being the reason I stay up way too late on Sunday and Wednesday nights capturing tape, cutting audio and listening to Scire’s Glee soundtrack play in the background. Thank you for seeing something in me and being incredible people to work with.

Nacin, I can’t thank you enough for doing whatever it is you do to get the paper and multimedia up on the Web. I still can’t figure out when you sleep, if you sleep.

Byers, I remember when you first asked me to come on as Web editor. I asked you what exactly my job would be and you responded, “That’s a good question,” which really means, ‘Hold on, I’m thinking.’ We’re in a time when we aren’t quite sure where the Internet will lead newspapers; all we can guess is that it will lead newspapers. I want to thank you for allowing me to experiment in my job, take on multimedia projects and not laughing at all of my outtakes when you hear me recording in your office. How you juggle everything, while remaining cool, calm and collected is beyond me. Thank you for continuing the quality of work expected from the Hatchet and being the best boss I’ve ever had.

The first day we all assumed our new editor positions was the same day news of swine flu broke in the District, and sure enough, it was two GW students. Everyone was working his or her butts off to get the story going.

Cahn, you were at Mayor Fenty’s press conference with the flip cam, getting everything on tape and keeping us back in the office updated so we could get the breaking news out. You’re always there, always ready and always thinking like a journalist. When snowmageddon hit, you were the one out there trekking through the snow with me. Thank you for always keeping the Web in mind and always volunteering to help. You’re going to be an incredible leader next year and I hope future Hatchet kids will be inspired by your drive and determination.

One of our pieces I will always be proud of is our religion series. It was no easy task to follow around four students for three weeks, trying to portray the balance of college life and worship-showing them in their most spiritually intimate moments and then asking to join them for happy hour. Ten tapes later, the project was finally done. If it weren’t for you, Lauren, Michelle and Chris, this piece would have been nothing.

Lauren, your vision and managerial skills are incredible. When the audio slideshows and videos were finally done at 5 a.m., you were there. You never accept anything less than the best. Thank you for always putting in 100 percent and being a great journalist. You’re going to make a great editor in chief.

Michelle, whenever I’m on a shoot, it’s you who’s there, snapping away. I love when we’re covering a story together because you question things I haven’t even thought of or see something my eye didn’t catch. I love how you worry about the sound of your camera clicking because you’re afraid it’ll mess up my audio. You’re always thinking of others and you never fail to get the perfect shot to capture the moment. Photo is in very good hands next year.

Our photo team stresses the fact that they aren’t just photographers, but photojournalists. Viktors, Chris and Michelle, you all embody that role completely. You are visual journalists, as well as geniuses. Articles can teach, entertain and illuminate the mind, but it is the photos that stick in people’s heads. Readers probably won’t remember a quote, a statistic or a name, but they will remember your picture. Thank you for always making them memorable and being the best photojournalists you can be.

Viktors, thanks for always fixing my computer problems, and I often look forward to seeing if you or Chris will win the couch for production night naptimes. Chris, thanks for all your talks about how esoteric, philosophical, mystical, contextualized, mediated, or arbitrary something or someone is at some time. They actually do make me think and it has been great getting to know you this year.

I got to do something this semester that had absolutely nothing to do with The Hatchet – well at least until our bus driver was arrested – but it gave me the opportunity to spend time with some of the best people at the paper. I went on an alternative spring break to New Orleans and I was lucky enough to have Justin, Tim, Lyndsey and Matt along with me.

Tim, what’s your secret? How do you do everything and do it so well? All you have accomplished amazes me. Thanks for being our best motivator and helping to make The Hatchet a family. Also, thank you for wah.

Lyndsey, you’re one of the sweetest people I know. It’s always a happy surprise when someone as nice as you can write such clever and effective opinion pieces. I’m excited to see you lead the section next year; I know it’s going to be great.

Matt, I only wish we could have worked together more this year. Besides always having a good time together, you really are a great journalist. You’re not afraid to ask a hard question, or lie in the middle of a sidewalk wearing a snuggie. I have no doubt you’ll be as good of an editor as you are a reporter.

Justin, I can’t think of anyone I would rather spend 48 hours on a bus with, hammer a jack-king with or share music with. It was great getting to know you outside of the office. When’s our next trip? Sitting in on editorial board meeting with you makes war look tame. The strength in your beliefs and your overall attitude to do what’s best for others, is something I truly admire.

Someone who knew me long before I joined The Hatchet is Marcia Newbert, our social networking guru. Marcia, you came on board and grabbed the bull by the horns, posting and tweeting away. It’s a little selfish, but I’m really glad you joined the staff, because it gave me the opportunity to work with one of my best friends. Now I get the chance to put in words how much I appreciate your friendship. Thank you for always being my support system here at college. If it weren’t for you and Kadie, my college years would have been pretty gray. We’ve really grown up together over the past few years. I don’t know where we’ll be in ten years, but whatever the future holds, I know we’ll be making each other laugh and smile as we always have.

To all the graduates, especially our Hatchet seniors, I’m so excited for us to be taking the next step in our lives and I can’t wait to toss my cap in the air with you come May 16. To the next Hatchet generation, listen, report and be the best damn journalists you can be. Gabe, you’re going to rock multimedia.

Thank you for watching, thank you for listening. For the Hatchet, I’m Amanda Lindner. -30-

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