Putting together a newspaper is a beast of its own.

Reporters running around, calling sources, scrambling to jot down notes, writing at all hours of the day, while editors pour over dozens of stories a night, making sure final copy is flawless for tomorrow’s paper and headlines are just engaging enough to make you want to read more, with photographers capturing moments that professionals sometimes call and ask for. Then, copy desk meticulously places stories together, resizing photos, racing to beat the deadline and complete another quality paper.

And that’s the kicker.

For being college students, this is the real deal and it teaches real-life lessons, such as the difficulty of managing peers, the harsh reality of working on deadline only to have a source not email you back in time...all in addition to the stress that comes with having to balance a student workload and create a daily newspaper.

But the beauty of a daily paper is the ability to start over each day. You get to forget about yesterday, last week, last year and every morning embrace the clean page before you.

The task seems simple: make a stronger headline, pick out a different dom photo, help a reporter talk through their article — just making sure to do at least one thing each day to improve tomorrow’s paper and tomorrow’s stories.


Collegian front page

But in this digital age, there are no more deadlines. When news breaks, we let our readers know right away. Whether it’s through our website or social media, our goal is always to keep you in the know.

Journalism is always changing — and we are always adapting.

The Daily Collegian is the best student-run publication in the country, no matter what anyone else believes. To be in this newsroom every day is to understand why that is the case. This place is so valuable to the students and every decision is made with that thought in mind, ensuring that the experience we were lucky enough to have is available to students for years to come.

We have adapted more in the previous year than in many years before combined, hopefully doing so gracefully. We have learned so much in our time here and know that the rest of the staff would say the same, because that’s what this place offers: a chance to learn and grow both as a journalist and a person.

Thursday night, as per tradition, the news staff huddled into the small, cramped space of the Altoona Mirror’s press room to watch The Daily Collegian’s last issue of the semester go to print.

As the staff congregated to grab copies of the paper, we step back and look at the friends around us — the people who, like us, have such a love for and dedication to this newspaper.

The expressions on our faces ranged as we held the warm, inky pages, but the feelings were the same: sadness, pride, uncertainty, ambition and excitement.

See, as the last issue of the semester was packed and ready to be placed on the racks, we were faced with a hard truth. This isn’t only the last issue of the semester — it is the Collegian’s last daily issue.

Starting in the spring, The Daily Collegian will be printing twice weekly on Monday and Thursday.

Some things will change and some things will stay they same.

Take for instance the newsroom. Whether the students of the Collegian pursue journalism careers or not, they will never work in a newsroom quite like this one, one where “American Girl” blasts through the speakers at 10 p.m. each night, empty coffee cups pile on numerous desks and random posters cover the walls, sometimes from reporters and editors who have long since graduated.

The hours spent here are countless, and there are more to come.

This transition is one we have tried to avoid, not out of resistance to try something new, but out of our own selfish desires to uphold the tradition the Collegian has been building for 130 years.

Change is hard, but it is also inevitable — a terrifying combination really, much like college.

Now, as a news organization, we could interpret this change as defeat or we could look at it as an opportunity.

The Collegian was here long before us and it will continue after us. But right now, we are its present, its now.

And we are ready to report from beyond the page.

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.