Reflection by Roberto Lobianco

robert lobiancoJournalism should strive to amplify the voice of the community it serves and enable people to take action; it should be empowering, not disabling.

From students striving for social change to the dismal pay afforded to our contingent faculty and the vibrant student life at New Paltz, these are all stories that would go untold if not for the countless hours of research, reporting and editing of The Oracle staff. They believe in what they’re doing, and so should you.

My stint on The Oracle was short-lived. I spent more time on the outside looking in. From that vantage point, it’s too easy to remark about the occasional misplaced punctuation point or misspelled word or to feel slighted when a quote gets paraphrased.

To those who are quick to criticize I say: Write letters, contribute columns and story ideas, become a staff writer, get on the copy desk. Help us tell the stories that matter. Or better yet, join us and tell them yourselves.

Cat, you welcomed me right away and made me feel that my contributions were valued, as only a successful leader could. If there’s one thing that I hope I’ve accomplished in my time here it’s to have proven that, in fact, I am not the mole.

Katie, your voice is developed well past your years. When you write, I want to keep reading, even when it’s about One Direction. P.S. There’s still time for “Con-stuck-tion” to make its way into this week’s issue. Just sayin’.

Andrew, I remember watching the Jets when Testaverde was at the helm and I didn’t think I would ever derive any entertainment value following the team again. You changed my mind. Use sports writing to reach folks with stories they may not otherwise come to themselves.

Abbott, your wit is as sharp as Tony’s Senate briefs are long. That’s a good thing.

John, your patience and focus on the news desk makes the world a better place. I firmly believe that your music night was the best.

Jen, you always caught that one mistake that the rest of us missed, no matter the hour. I don’t care what you say, you were in the PA reporting class with the rest of us every Wednesday morning.

Anthony, from one news-drone to another: You will make a great desk editor. Don’t forget that cell phone reception in Albany is oftentimes sub-par, leave extra time if you ever find yourself having to contact a source there.

Suzy, Alfonso will live on without me there and you’re responsible for that. Let that sink in.

Maddie, you’re the friendliest person on the copy desk. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Max, you worked videography magic on multiple  occasions I can’t wait to see what your photos look like.

Ben, it was inspiring to see you develop your voice through “Boarder Patrol” and hone in on a topic that you love deeply. It  shines through in your writing.

April, your thoughtful, deliberate editing made my features writing stronger and for that I’m grateful.

Hannah, the diverse set of talents you bring to your work, your singing, your stage presence, is unsurpassed. The fact that you you carry that over to the newsroom helped us all make it through some long Wednesday nights. See you in Brussels.

Robin, your attention to detail makes for shots that are stories unto themselves. You make me want to be a better photographer.

Julie G., I can’t fathom what The Oracle’s cartoons will look like when you’re gone. But I dare any future Oracle cartoonist to match your clever, creative and distinct style. Your art encompasses our words and expresses multitudes.

To my number one fan, one day soon we’ll sit down over some coffee and chat about that alumni page I’ve heard so much about.

If I had to to tweet my reflection it would read: Pun-infused, caffeine-driven alliteration binges. Copy flows through us, onto the page. The orange walls serve to amplify our peers’ voices.

That’s 140 characters, I checked.

Farewell folks. It’s been a good run.