Letter From the Editor

Featured Image: Connor Merk (center right) stands with the 2022-23 Marlin Chronicle staff at the Spring 2023 Media Day.
Kaza Dayton | Courtesy

Dear Marlin Chronicle Readers,

This is my goodbye message to the media enterprise that was a staple of my college experience throughout all four years, which included a pandemic and remote learning, professional and personal growth, and challenges and achievements. 

My Marlin Chronicle story began with the class registration process as an incoming freshman. I knew I wanted to take Business and Political Science courses, but I saw a 2-credit Journalism course that piqued my interest. Enrolling in Journalism Workshop was one of the best decisions I made because I was introduced to the newspaper writing, editing and designing processes. I also joined the senior editors that fall to attend the College Media Association conference in Washington, D.C. During that experience, I met a White House reporter and former White House press secretary as well as attended the Washington Nationals parade to celebrate their 2019 World Series win. 

Then, I was promoted to be the community section editor where half of the semester operated normally. I got to cover the Bernie Sanders presidential rally on campus with other professional reporters. Then, I went home for spring break and completed the rest of the semester on a foldable table in my living room because the campus shut down due to COVID-19. This posed a challenge for the Chronicle as all of our files and equipment were on campus, but we persevered and completed our publications via Zoom and on our own computers. 

As I entered sophomore year, I became the news section editor and covered all facets of COVID-19 related to campus life and the University and the 2020 presidential election, and was appointed by the previous EIC and Dr. Lisa Lyon Payne, the faculty advisor to lead the team. This was unconventional as I was going to be a junior in this position, which became even more atypical as I led the organization for an additional year as a senior. 

I am incredibly proud of the team for our accomplishments, especially over the past two years. We have won 39 awards from the Society of Collegiate Journalists’ national college competition, seen immense growth in our social media presence and expanded the team to over 30 people. 

I am very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this remarkable group and am especially appreciative of Dr. Payne for her support as well as the dedication of the writers, photographers, illustrators, advertising managers, online editors, copy editors, social media operators and section editors that I have worked with for four years. They have helped elevate our newspaper into a nationally recognized multimedia organization that has done an upstanding job of showcasing our community and its many voices.

My time with the Chronicle is over, but I know it will continue to be a trustworthy and reliable source of information under the direction of rising editor-in-chief Rhian Tramontana and I look forward to being an active reader. 

All the best,
Connor Merk
Staff Writer (2019)
Community Editor (2020)
News Editor (2020-2021)
Editor-in-Chief (2021-2023)

By Connor Merk