This is my final quarter as the editor-in-chief of the Fairhaven Free Press. Four years ago, I joined the staff of the Free Press with no journalism experience, only a passion for writing. I’ve since developed my skills as a reporter and storyteller, which I combined with my devotion to the heavy metal band Iron Maiden to produce my final story for this issue.
Journalism is going through a number of changes. The Internet and social media play key roles in this development because they are platforms where many people look to find links to news articles. Despite the challenges that face this nation and world, such as economic and social inequality, environmental destruction and political corruption, the sharing of information is paramount.
Much of what I know about the expanding wealth gap, corporations that destroy the earth for fuel and issues of social oppression (to name a few examples) came from articles and stories I read online. As members of my generation continue to fight for ongoing causes, we must also meet a rising challenge: advocating for the freedom to share information.
Many news organizations are only beginning to establish protocol for using social media. With a similarly delayed development, the U.S. government is making attempts to regulate the Internet in ways that could compromise the way we share content on the web (read more about that here). The more people continue to look online to expand their knowledge, the greater the impact such regulation will have on the way we stay informed. Don’t let these issues pass you by. I’m not sure where this saying is from exactly, but it’s worth keeping in mind: “those who ignore their rights see them quickly taken away.”
On a cheerier note, it’s been a privilege to work on the Free Press for 12 quarters. I’d like to close this letter by recognizing that my accomplishments, in many ways, partially belong to the following: those who I’ve interviewed for articles, especially all the Iron Maiden fans who helped me out, the communities of Fairhaven and Western, my professors, especially Daniel Larner and Mary Cornish, the Fairhaven College office staff and my high school drama teacher, Erin Walcon, who told me about Fairhaven. To my housemates, at Zehausen and the Pie House, as well as our friends who’ve dropped by, I’d like to recognize you all for adding to the collective atmosphere that kept my spirits up during the past four years.
I’d like to thank the members and crew of Iron Maiden for producing quality music and concerts that have kept me inspired and shown me the value of committing to creativity. Thanks to Kirsten Drickey and Ligia for helping me with translations. A special thanks goes to my family, especially my cousin Zach, who introduced me to Maiden, my grandparents, Jim and Mary Barton, Don and Virginia Madsen, my parents, Keith and Karen, my brother, Loren and my fiancée, Alex, who has remained supportive and patient through thick and thin.
Have a great summer.