Photo by Cory Wyman ’16 – Outgoing Co-Editor In Chief Cameron Bray ’16 poses for a photo in Mr. Mica Mulloy’s room as The Roundup staff works in the background.
By Cameron M. Bray ’16
This is the last edition of The Roundup I will ever produce as a student.
Words cannot fully express what I am feeling, so I will leave you with a simple “wow.”
Four years go by so quickly—three years of journalism even more so.
Browsing a binder that my family has kept of all my Brophy things, I find that, over these past three years as a student journalist, I have helped produce exactly 16 editions of The Roundup, including this last one.
Sixteen. Again, I am stunned.
I never pictured myself becoming—nor did I plan to become—involved in journalism in any way at all, let alone co-editor in chief of this paper.
To be honest, the main reason I am probably here is because Mr. Scott Middlemist ’87 referred me to Mr. Mica Mulloy ’99, who in turn sent me an email inviting me to consider the course.
If I had not received that email, I likely would have pursued choir instead, perhaps working my way up to Honor Chorale.
Although I enjoyed writing, I never once entertained the thought of being a journalist.
Newspaper writing seemed so dry, cold and uncreative to me that I ignored it.
However, Mr. Mulloy’s email impressed me, so I decided to give journalism a shot.
I have never once regretted the decision.
But first, let me address you as if you were me three years ago:
Journalism is not a dry, uncreative or unfulfilling field. It is quite the opposite, really.
Journalism is a dynamic and energetic field, and it is an one that is of the utmost importance for a free society to exist.
If you have ever been to a busy newsroom office like I have or if you have seen a movie like “All the President’s Men” or “Spotlight,” you know what journalism can be like, especially when a big story breaks.
Phones ringing, writers frantically typing away at computers, reporters chasing elusive sources down for interviews, these same sources running to avoid the press because of misdeeds—these are all images that strike me when I think about journalism.
Journalism is not just dull fact checking or sitting at a desk, as most people think it is.
Journalism is about community. It is about building relationships with people, talking with strangers, hearing their stories, putting the facts to print and sharing that information with others.
This is certainly what I have experienced these last three years.
Through countless interviews, meetings and late-night layout sessions (the long nights where we at The Roundup design the actual paper), I have met and built relationships with people I never expected to encounter in such a profound way, and I have gained experiences that I will never forget.
I will never forget sitting down with Mr. Mike Welty ’83 to talk about his theater performances in high school. Nor will I forget videotaping and watching as he and Cameron Kurtz ’15 launched rockets into the air one Saturday at Salome Emergency Airfield.
I will never forget interviewing Ms. Breanne Toshner about her participation in the recently established college sexual assault committee.
I will never forget Jack McAuslan ’16’s (our Entertainment editor) “Star Wars” impersonations at this year’s late-night layout sessions and the numerous other jokes that were shared.
Journalism is about community, life and energy—all elements of Catholic philosophy at its finest—and these beautiful things I have all experienced these last three years.
However, journalism is not all fun and games and “Star Wars” jokes in the newsroom.
It is also about responsibility. It is about checking power.
To that end, I find it both strange and discouraging that in my AP Government class a majority of students said that the media was too powerful.
While I understand this viewpoint and can see how it can develop given the dangerous and flagrantly biased media outlets that exist out there (and yes, that includes Fox News), I think its supporters are viewing journalism too cynically and too narrowly.
Just look at the many good works journalists have done in the past few years.
Without the skillful reporters working round-the-clock at The Guardian and The Washington Post, we never would have learned about the vastly abusive NSA spying programs.
Similarly, without the work of the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, we would have never even seen the recent Panama Papers, a glaring indictment of vice, greed and corruption.
From these examples and the thousands of others that exist, including the work done by journalists to uncover the Watergate scandal and the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, it is clear that journalism is a force for good, not evil, in our world.
Journalism at its core is not about seizing power. It is about holding power accountable.
I have the utmost faith in the power of journalism.
So I want to use my platform now to share some of that idealism with the Brophy community, which has given me so much over the last four years.
Thank you for reading, and thank you to all those who have supported me these past years.
This work and all the rest would not be possible without your support.