Senior column: Katie McHugh

Senior year’s crashing to a halt. Between all the dog eared books, library fines and unread Transom e-mail newsletters, it’s been great. Exhausting, but great. Permanent dark circles under my eyes? Worth it.

If you’re reading this, you might be thinking of writing for us, so a couple things will help you out.

Keep asking questions. Yeah, there are stupid questions, which will delay answers and muddle the problem. Learning how to ask the right questions is a must. Everyone has an agenda and reasons for providing and withholding certain pieces of information. So look at the big picture and figure out what that is, fast.

Avoid sensitivity-focused dialogues. Focus on evidence. Focus on the facts. Feelings are important, but don’t confuse them for arguments. You’re not in this business to make people comfortable with softened half-truths or anything like that. And you’re not responsible for their misunderstandings. You’re responsible for printing accurate reporting or analysis, and that’s that. You are not a press release copier — or even worse, a press release generator. When you cover events, do it critically.

Be interesting.

That’s all we want.

It’s hugely fun. Conservatives at this school usually feel under attack, but your personal politics should never stop you from contributing to The Campus or any activity on campus. To paraphrase Robert Novak, I’ve had a terrific time in my two years in journalism fulfilling lots of my youthful dreams and at the same time making life miserable for my hypocritical, posturing political opponents, and, I hope, performing a service for my alma mater. I want you to do the same with a smile on your face.

And just learn to focus, period. If you’re like me, you’re probably opening and closing TweetDeck three times in a row telling yourself I’m just gonna check this new list THIS IS THE LAST TIME and of course you have 50 tabs open, two of which are Beyonce’s “Love On Top” and “Countdown,” the others being really uncool blogs. Some of which you’ve been reading since high school. When you were just as uncool.

Our up-and-coming junior eds are cooler, I promise. I’m going to miss Claire, whose workhorse capabilities make me hang my head in Sad Katie shame. And Larry (is Bigfoot a transhuman?). And Boy Sam. But next year, they’ll do it live.

Katie McHugh was awarded a year-long fellowship from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and will work as an assistant editor at The Daily Caller in Washington, D.C.