Learning lessons of storytelling, photojournalism


Courtesy of Cody Cottier

TEVA MAYER, Evergreen managing editor

When I first walked into The Daily Evergreen’s newsroom as a freshman during Week of Welcome, I was looking for a way to earn some money. I just wanted to see a movie or hit up Porchlight Pizza, maybe develop my photography. I had no idea what this paper would become for me or how it would shape my personality, my education and my career.

I started as a photographer, and a very shy and introverted one at that. I spent meetings artfully avoiding eye contact with my photo editor, because I was too afraid to go out on photo assignments. Now, I’m the managing editor and I artfully catch the eyes of the editors and reporters trying to avoid mine.

But more than a confidence boost, the Evergreen has become a home away from home and a source of great friendships.

Working with the most dedicated and fun people you know to produce a paper that is often vilified on our campus builds strong and enduring bonds. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is against us, placing a great deal of pressure on the shoulders of students who sometimes aren’t even old enough to buy a beer, while at the same time inducing fiercely loyal and strong friendships.

In the Evergreen, I have found my support, my inspiration and my joy, all in the editors, reporters and photographers who have surrounded me these past four years.

At this paper, I have discovered a passion for storytelling, investigating and reporting that I didn’t know I was capable of. I have found new career paths, made new connections and learned so much about accountability, leadership and the human condition.

These are lessons I will carry with me as I set out to be a storyteller and photojournalist for the science community, a vision for my future that I wouldn’t have realized had it not been for my time working at this paper.

It is here that I have worked alongside people I have disliked, I have loved and I have wished I’d met sooner. At times the grind of daily production was a burden, and at others it was a welcomed task. I have endured and enjoyed every emotion a person could possibly have, all while living through scenarios of ethics, competency and communication that most adults haven’t. I have made mistakes and I have etched out successes.

At The Daily Evergreen, I have essentially experienced a microcosm of life. As I graduate and leave this paper behind, I feel far more prepared for the bigger version than I ever thought I would.