Running a newspaper is a risk

Mike Klesta

The water was so cold it made me feel.

Carolina Beach. Late November. Forty degrees.

My two brothers and I decided to take a trip to North Carolina for Thanksgiving ? visit our grandmother and other relatives. But we couldn?t pass up a beach a few hours drive to the southeast.

The blinding November sun was deceiving ? the biting breeze drove the wind chill down into the 30s. Fisherman trolled wearing stocking caps and winter coats. Locals walked dogs and partners along the beachfront, bracing against the wind. But we would not be put off.

We ran around for a few minutes and quickly stripped down to our trunks. We shrieked, yelled, laughed at our own insanity. Damn, the water was cold.

The fishermen glanced up from their reels, and 30 seconds later, we were running back to our towels, reveling in our overwhelming numbness.

Running a newspaper is like jumping into frigid water with a bunch of friends. The risk and responsibility of the operation shocked me at first. But I?m with my friends ? my readers and my employees. We?ll get through the experience together.

It?s our job to provide you with the most accurate, meaningful coverage of our campus and community we can. If we mess up, let me know.

We?ve made some changes. Our new Web site,, offers us freedom from the university?s server. Other than our building being on campus, we?re truly the independent news source we claim to be.

We have a couple of new Page 2 features. You?ll be able to find business, finance and consumer-interest stories on today?s Your Money page. Check out a former fashion major?s opinions on our Friday Your Style page. These pages are yours. Let us know what you think of them.

A little about me: I haven?t always wanted to be a journalist. In fact, I used to be a conservation major.

So I was sitting on the Campus Loop in Spring 2002, reading the Stater, and a story about one of Bush?s forestry policies caught my eye. Disgusted, I wrote a letter to the editor … and it was published.

Seeing your name in print is exhilarating. I changed my major to newspaper journalism a few weeks later and took on a biology minor.

I?m not the type of person to take on a million goals, attaining none, in a semester. So I?ve narrowed it down to a few:

1) Provide the reader with meaningful, well-researched stories that go beyond the press release.

2) Provide a fun working environment, which will nurture our growth and development as a paper.

And finally, our mantra:

3) Take risks.

Only through risks will we actually learn and progress as an organization. Though I may get wet and cold taking them, without risks, life isn?t much fun.

Mike Klesta is a senior newspaper journalism major and the editor of the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]