Every Tuesday, when the paper comes out, I receive lots of feedback from UVM students. Many times this feedback is positive, and I can get a good reading of what people like to see in the cynic. Very often, however, people’s responses are extremely negative.
I don’t get offended or ignore someone who was particularly offended by something in the paper. Getting negative feedback is in some ways more helpful that positive feedback, and I try to take note of it as best I can. I may not apologize, but I will take in that some topics are offensive and off limits.
Many times however, people take it upon themselves to come up to me on a weekly basis and make fun of the paper, instead of actually critiquing it.
“Hey Julian, this weeks paper was even worse than last weeks! HAHAHA, you guys really suck huh? That’s soooo funny!”
If you don’t like something about the paper, I would love to hear what that is. But if you have never written for the newspaper, or even contributed a helpful suggestion, then you have no basis to make a judgement about The Cynic, period.
Truth be told, The Cynic receives a phenomenally small amount of support from the UVM community. I only met our faculty advisor for one hour a few weeks ago, and even he came only to tell us that we needed to “shape up”. That has been the full extent to the faculty “support and guidance” for the Cynic. No one told me how to do this job when I got here, and I’m still not terribly sure. If you give a bunch of college kids little money, no guidance, and a microscopic staff, you might not wind up with The Wall Street Journal.
I would love to work for a paper that is taken seriously by the community. I would love to have people respect the Cynic, whether they like it or not. I would love to actually get paid for working here at the Cynic. But none of these things are happening.
Last week, at our weekly editors meeting, both our managing editor and our editor in chief told the rest of us that they will not be returning next semester. Something about having to work insanely hard for little pay and no respect. I understand how they feel, and as much as I would like to I can’t take their place. Working forty hours a week to have your friends tell you how funny it is that the Cynic is a pile of rubbish does not seem like my cup of tea.
I implore the UVM community, both faculty and students, to take a more active role in your newspaper. Having a newspaper at your disposal is an incredibly powerful thing, and a great experience most people will never have again. The fact that we have only about seven or eight people, paid staff included, that take an active role in the Cynic is ridiculous. For next semester, I hope that the paper can improve and grow, but that cannot happen unless more of you get involved.