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ELLIOT-MEISEL: Forever a ‘Tribber’ taking pride in Wire success

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When I started working for student media, I was told, “You are a Tribber.” In my four years here, this has never faltered, and I will always consider myself a Tribber. However, as I now send my final Tribune to the printer as managing editor and my time here comes to an end, I find that I am also a proud member of the Marquette Wire – a Wireite?

Four years ago, this new concept of the Marquette Wire was born into chaos. It was generally said that the Wire would encompass all aspects of student media – MUTV, Radio, Journal and Tribune. Not even the editors that year couldn’t quite explain what the Wire was supposed to be and how it was going to operate.

As most freshmen do, I simply did what I was told and became a devoted Tribber. I worked 30 hours a week as a freshman for the Tribune. As a sophomore, I became the visual content editor, also for the Tribune. At the mention of the Wire, I rolled my eyes and scoffed at its mission.

For a long time, many of us went on like this. We identified as Tribbers and assumed this greater goal of collaboration, what they were calling the Wire, could never work. Until it started to work. Until I saw convergence actually begin to happen.

It was during President Barack Obama’s visit that I first saw the Wire come together. Excited about the visit and anxious to take part in the coverage, everyone was vying for press passes. Our executive director at the time eventually made the call and two reporters were assigned to write a story and live tweet the event. A videographer from MUTV was to coordinate with them and the final product would include a print story, a video and social media posts.

It worked. Print, video and social media came together to produce content together, as a collective unit. On that day, the Wire worked. I started to believe in the Wire and have been lucky enough to watch it grow exceptionally since that day.

Throughout this past year and a half as Tribune managing editor, I have seen the Wire come into its own – and still fought it at several points along the way. But through it all, progress was made and the Wire has proven success.

Just a few weeks ago, alleged shots were fired near campus. Immediately, the editors jumped into the Wire mentality. A news reporter ran to the scene, took photos, did a live stand-up, tweeted the event, then came back to the office to write the print story. Photographers and videographers were sent and by the end of the night, the Wire succeeded in producing content across nearly all platforms.

Four years ago, if you’d told me this could happen, I would have laughed, maybe called you crazy, and for sure would have rolled my eyes. I’ve been given a lot of flack for being stubborn about my beloved Tribune and its traditions. I think “pig-headed” may have been thrown around once or twice.

But the success of the Wire is not the failure of the Tribune. The old, pessimistic, stuck-in-the-mud generation I’ve reveled in is leaving – hopefully the new one will continue the progress we’ve made.

With the unwavering support of College of Communication Dean Kimo ah Yun, our ever-incredible Director of Student Media Mark Zoromski and my arch-nemesis turned confidant, close friend Executive Director Patrick Thomas leading the charge, there is no doubt the Wire will continue to flourish.

As I finish my 42nd issue as managing editor and my 158th Tribune overall, I’ll entrust my beloved newspaper to the extremely capable Becca Carballo and tell her to put the Wire first, because when the Wire succeeds, the Tribune will continue to succeed alongside it. And I’ll tell her that she’ll forever be a Tribber, but a Wireite as well – but I don’t have to tell her that, she already knows it. And with that, my job here is done.

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