I did a personal debriefing of the three-and-a-half-years term I spent with the Tribune, distinguishing the issues that I have faced and the solutions to those, the ups and downs of every position that I served. One common idea that comes to my mind in reviewing those years is the sense of responsibility needed in those different positions. Each of those positions had a different color incomparable to the other positions. True, workload and responsibility, as well as the tangible and intangible rewards come bigger as one goes up the ladder. However, realizing the fact that those positions do not mean anything if those in the lower ranks do not take full responsibility of the tasks they need to do makes one realize one thing: a leader needs followers in order to lead. This balances the leadership scale and the tug-of-war between those in the high and low ranks creates enough tension enough to hold the organization together. As the chief editor, synchronization within the ranks of reporters and editors has become a major concern to me. The matching of the abilities of each reporter and balancing of the upper and lower ranks created harmony that allowed the Chonnam Tribune to flourish. At least, that is what I want to believe in, and hopefully my juniors will continue what I have done. My predecessors were right: the most that the chief editor will gain from handling this position is to learn how to calibrate an organization and how to develop one’s leadership skills.
A full understanding of the organization and the responsibilities that one’s position holds is primary, however, with only this understanding it is impossible to move into the future. Developing into a better organization for the readers is the only way for the Chonnam Tribune to become a newspaper that reflects the zeitgeist of the CNU community. Therefore, it is vital that the Chonnam Tribune strive to become better day-by-day, led not only by the head student editor but by individual reporters as well. Being wide-eyed and always abreast to the news, and more importantly, to think about our readers, the students and faculty of CNU, is a task that each and every reporter should always keep in mind. English is only a carrier of information, seeking truth through journalism and academism should be the maxim of any student reporter that enters the doors of Tribune.
Looking back, I always have been holding to the reason why I entered the Chonnam Tribune: I wanted to represent the voices of the hundreds of international students on campus who have been seeking change ever since. I tried my best to become the stimulus of that change through the Chonnam Tribune. Not only for international students but for other members of the CNU community, may this publication continue to become the tribune of CNU, a place where people gather and exchange thoughts for the ultimate goal of seeking truth. As I write this final column in the eve of my retirement, may the seed of hope that I planted in this organization grow from the passion of my juniors behind me. With hope, I shall patiently wait.
By Rigoberto Banta Jr., The 54th Head Student Editor