About the news, just not in it

“Excuse me, sir, but may we have your autograph? It’s not for us, but for our high school teacher. She was too embarrassed to ask you herself,” said the high schooler, shrugging sheepishly.

I was sitting in the cafeteria of the U.S. Supreme Court, sharing lunch with my fellow interns. Upon hearing the request, one of my comrades doubled over on the other side of the table, trying to conceal his laughter.

I’m sure I turned about 12 shades of Buckeye scarlet, if not “a whiter shade of pale,” but I knew exactly what had happened. I knew who they thought I was.

It was only the 42nd case of mistaken identity since I had begun keeping count the week before. It must have been the bow tie.

“You’re that CNN Crossfire host, right? Tucker, what’s his name?”

No, I’m not Tucker Carlson; I don’t work for CNN. I’m a senior government & politics student that aspires to go to law school and clerk for a Supreme Court justice – I’m also the new Editor of The UTD Mercury.

Only two years ago, I walked into my first Mercury staff meeting not knowing what to expect, not sure that I even belonged at such an establishment. How could I belong, I thought, considering I didn’t know the first thing about journalism?

And yet The Mercury opened its doors to me, that I might learn more about the newspaper, the university and, ultimately, myself.

The Mercury has always strived to be its namesake messenger for the university. It aims to bring coverage to all important matters affecting the university and its students.

It sheds light in the dark, finds the dark in the light (even when the power goes out) and seeks to provide balanced reporting of the best and worst of times. Over the course of this coming year, it will continue to do so.

We hope to revitalize The Mercury with a new design to kick off the spring semester and celebrate our 25th anniversary. Look for these changes next January.

In recent years, The Mercury has developed a quality Editorial Board to weigh in with the premier opinion pieces of the newspaper.

The Editorial Board will continue its mission with heavily researched opinions, and like the Supreme Court, will allow space for dissenting opinions.

The Mercury will also focus more attention on student interests, while trying its best to provide easy-to-understand reports on the ground-breaking technological marvels that occur courtesy of UTD’s scientific virtuosos.

I feel confident making these claims because I am surrounded by quality writers, experienced editors and masterful management. Working with such a talented supporting cast will make my job easy and these goals achievable.

As a team, we will continue to serve UTD with the best possible newspaper we can provide.

We will keep our doors open to welcome undiscovered talent that may someday replace us.

We will never forget the honor and the privilege it is to wear such laurels and carry UTD’s message. And we’ll be more than happy to sign autographs along the way.

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