The Dongguk Post Is Your Senses!
Mount a camera on a tripod and fix a focus on a point. Wait and click the shutter at an appointed time. And the following day put your camera before that scene at the same time and place. Repeat this process during a long period of time. Your pictures of the same place at the same time and the changes there will give you a chance to cherish the routine of your past life. This is the way the leading character, Auggie, in the film "Smoke" refreshes his memory.
My five senses were the camera, and my campus life as a student reporter was the pictures. And The Dongguk Post's office, located in the basement of Student Hall, was the background of my pictures. I'm now about to wrap up my three-year stint with those pictures.
Writing my Swan Song brings my past campus life with The Dongguk Post to my head, as it does for other retiring senior reporters. I'd like to tell my readers and senior and junior reporters about what thoughts I had and what kind of reporter I wanted to be through writing articles.
"Why does The Dongguk Post exist and what role does it play on campus?" I was asked this question at a personal interview before joining The Dongguk Post. I can't exactly remember what I answered, but I might have given a poor answer to my senior reporters at that time. After getting involved in publishing The Dongguk Post, I was able to give a good answer, "It is the senses of all DU students and will help them to perceive the world. That is the reason for its being." Then, I thought I have to enlighten our readers. I bit off more than I could chew.
I was arrogant in assuming that our readers -- usually called "average students" in our meetings at the Post -- were indifferent to social issues, the student movement etc., and thus they were not enlightened.
"How about reporting on the campus life of entertainers and sports players who are Dongguk students?" Whenever my junior reporters made those kinds of suggestions, I ignored them, saying, "We are not publishing an entertainment magazine." I've focused on off-campus issues rather than on-campus ones. As a result, lots of students seem to have turned their backs to The Dongguk Post.
I'm not saying that it is not important to report on social issues. What I want to say here is that I should have been more concerned about what readers want to read. As last year's editor-in-chief wrote in the "To Our Readers" column in the March issue, The Dongguk Post has to offer "edutainment" and "infortainment" to our readers. Do not put the blame on readers' indifference to the Post, but on our indifference to them.
I'd like to wrap up this column with an apology for my past arrogance. You should look forward to reading The Dongguk Post that my junior reporters will publish.
Choi Jong-taek firstname.lastname@example.org
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