First year as The Rider News’ opinion editor
By Felicia Roehm
In March 2022, I received an email from Shaun Chornobroff who was going to be the executive editor of The Rider News. It was about putting together next year’s staff, and asked me if I was interested in a position. There were two positions available, opinion editor and a copy editor role. I was so excited when I received the email, and was immediately interested in being a copy editor. To become a copy editor you have to take a test, which includes reading an article, finding the mistakes and correcting as many as you can. I took the test the same week, and let’s just say, I didn’t do well. I didn’t have much interest in being an opinion editor so I thought after I failed the test I would no longer have the opportunity to be on The Rider News staff.
After talking with some friends and family who were all telling me to reach out to Chornobroff again about inquiring about the opinion editor position, I finally did a month later. I thought by that point, the position must have been filled and there was still no way I would be offered the job; however, to my surprise, Chornobroff emailed back saying the position was still available, but they weren’t planning on filling it until the fall. He recommended I write an opinion article to get some experience. My first opinion article was about the sexism in the dance industry, and is still one of my favorite articles that I have written.
The following week, I reached out again hoping to discuss more about the position and Chornobroff offered to have a meeting with me. Chornobroff and Amethyst Martinez, the soon-to-be managing editor, wanted to get to know me and see if I was the right fit for the job. I was nervous because I really wanted to make a good first impression, but the second the meeting started I began to relax. Both Chornobroff and Martinez were incredibly nice, and I left thinking the conversation went really well. They told me about the responsibilities I would have as opinion editor and I would be in charge of gathering articles every week, creating the layout and writing my own article as well.
I received an email in May from Shaun offering me the position and I was thrilled. During the summer, I was a bit worried because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to do the job well, and I had no previous experience so I was going in completely blind. Before the fall semester began, Martinez helped me and showed me some of the tasks I would have to do every week. During the first few weeks, I made a few mistakes, but everyone was so encouraging and helpful.
On the first day two features and entertainment editors, Tristan Leach and Hannah Newman, offered to walk to Cranberry’s together to get dinner to get to start bonding. I loved the offer, and we continued to walk to get dinner every week throughout the year. I looked forward to the walks every week because I got to know both of them really well and always enjoyed their company. Every year, The Rider News submits articles to the New Jersey Press Foundation state awards.
This year, I am so grateful to have won second place for editorial writing for my article “Westminster students ‘feel completely unheard and unseen.’” This is my first award for my writing and I am absolutely thrilled. My first year as opinion editor was so much fun, and I wrote about so many different topics and got to know so many amazing people. Of course there were some stressful moments, but I have truly enjoyed every part of being an opinion editor. I loved getting to know the other editors and I can’t wait to continue next year.