Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Roman Bobek: On Becoming a Writer

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.

I joined The Hatchet during the latter half of my freshman year looking to try a different type of writing. I didn’t know if I wanted to be a journalist; all I knew is that I wanted to write. At the time, I thought it was going to be something I did whenever I felt like it. I never thought I would become a member of staff.

Prior to my senior year, I wasn’t sure I wanted to be sports editor. I knew how much work it was, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to focus on that while I was trying to graduate. But I decided to challenge myself and try something new. Ultimately, I’m glad I made that choice. I learned the value of what good journalism can do and as a result of the countless hours I spent editing, my own writing got better.

Working for The Hatchet has helped me develop a more attentive eye to my creative writing. It’s taught me to be concise and purposeful without sacrificing space on the page. It has helped my stories flow better and identify what is relevant and what is not. You have to be honest with yourself and exercise restraint because you’ll lose your reader if you don’t. You have a short amount of time and space to make an impact and relay important information.

During my time as a reporter, I vastly improved my interviewing skills. I became much better at asking the right type of questions to evoke authentic and meaningful responses. I used to loathe the idea of interviewing people. I was shy and didn’t know how to talk to strangers. Interviewing people has helped me learn that everyone has a story to tell, and I can learn so much from the people around me. I don’t have to live a different life to come up with new stories and characters. I simply have to listen to the things people say. It feels like a gift, a new approach to life. Now, I can hear certain things people say, and I already know there is a greater story to be unearthed. I don’t know if I would’ve thought that way about people and writing if I hadn’t tried my hand at journalism.

As for what’s next, I’ll continue to write as much as I can in any form I can think of. I want to tell stories by any means possible. The Hatchet has kept me accountable to both the truth and the act of writing itself. As I move on to the next stage of my life, I can’t sit around waiting for the stories to write themselves. I have to bring myself to the notebook, the computer, the phone, the whiteboard, whatever it may be, and write like I only have so much time to say the things I want to say.

Here’s to the people who made my time memorable:

Nuria: It’s been a pleasure working with you the past couple of years. I knew I could always count on you, even during the times when our section seemed to shrink with each passing week or when we struggled to pull stories together. I’m proud of the way you’ve continually developed as a writer, and I can’t wait to see you lead the section yourself. If you ever need anything, I’m always a phone call or text away.

Emily: I can’t thank you enough for all the time and patience you spent helping me become a better reporter and writer, even when I submitted stories that I knew were not my best work. You helped me stick with The Hatchet even during the times I felt like quitting or stepping back. You always made me feel welcome. Thank you for believing in me and my work.

Will: Thank you for always being consistent in your writing, working here as long as you did and helping new reporters find their way. I’m glad you were there for my first semester as editor. I don’t know what I would’ve done without you.

The sports section: I’m proud of the work we’ve done over the year, and I’m excited to see you all continue to do good work. Thank you for sticking with the team even through the growing pains and periods of struggle. Though I know some of you may decide to follow a different path after I leave, I’m glad to have spent my time here with you and I hope I helped you become better writers. I wish you happiness and success in whatever you choose to do.

Rohan: You were one of the first friends I made at The Hatchet. I learned a lot working on the women’s basketball beat alongside you, and I wouldn’t trade anything for those late nights we spent pulling game blogs together. I look forward to seeing where you end up and beating you in fantasy football year after year. Go Bills!

Shreeya: I know our sections didn’t exactly interact much, but thank you for just being a friend. I always came away from our conversations feeling better about my life choices or more aware of what it means to be human. I look forward to seeing you write both creatively and professionally, and I hope we can stay in touch as we enter the next stage of our lives.

All the people I ever interviewed: Thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to talk to me, even when I asked questions you may or may not have been fans of. Every single one of you enriched my view of the world in ways you can’t even begin to imagine. I hope you will come to see me as more than just a reporter should our paths ever cross again.

-30-

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