By Chandler Walter, Editor-in-Chief
So we’ve made it a full 26 issues and I’ve yet to spend a Lettitor entirely devoted to explaining my sign off.
It seems to be an ongoing tradition here at the Other Press for the Editor-in-Chief to, at some point in their year-long tenure, dedicate a entire article to that very topic… so here we are.
I don’t know if it’s simply a product of a past captain of this printed ship drawing a blank on what to write about some hectic week in years past, but I would be lying if I said that didn’t factor into my reasoning on this cloudy Monday afternoon.
Plus, seeing as I’m writing this while cramped in the back-end of a TransLink SkyTrain, there isn’t much Wi-Fi around with which to delve into any well-research topic.
So, again, here we are.
When I was a young, eager contributor at this paper, full of spirit and half-baked humour article ideas, I noticed that the Lettitors prefacing each and every issue always had a sign off by the reigning Editor-in-Chief. I decided to do some digging and found that, while they differed depending on what editor had been in the byline, they remained constant throughout any one editor’s time leading the paper—a full 30 issues (usually, unless there’s a coup, of course).
Suffice it to say that I was a little put off by the sheer commitment a person needed to agree to if they were to ever become EIC—not accounting for the emails, editing, production work, conference organizing, and actual writing an EIC also has on their plate—but the thought of signing off with the exact same little phrase each week was what was terrifying to me.
When I realized I was in line for the job, panic quickly sunk in. How do I go about finding the proper sign-off? Would it be plagiarism to use Kurt Vonenegut’s “So it goes,” even though an Editor-In-Chief had used it three years prior? (Looking at you, Jacey.) Is this seriously something I should be worrying this much about?
I’ve spent two years in Langara’s Journalism program, three with the Other Press, and a little more than half a year working as a staff writer with an online news publication. It’s not much of a resume, I’ll give you that, but it’s what I’ve got. I won’t pretend to speak as an expert on the industry, or even as someone with all the answers when it comes to the Other Press. What I do know, however, after spending some time in all these different newsrooms, and around all these various writers, is that one thing remains constant: Journalists can appreciate a cold drink after a long day.
So I left it at that. Short, simple, and occasionally sweet (though sometimes bitter if you happen to be a fan of IPAs), just like a good piece of journalism should be.