Young Editor-in-Chief Strives to Make Student Newspaper Diverse and Inclusive
Greta Cross is a junior Journalism major at Missouri State and has already earned the position of Editor-in-Chief at The Standard. The Standard is Missouri State’s student-led newspaper, which employs 50-60 students ranging from freshman to graduate students. As Editor-in-Chief, Cross has the large task of reviewing everything before it’s published and helping with interpersonal relationships in the staff, as well as writing and photography for the publication. Though she’s been a part of The Standard since she started at Missouri State, Cross says Editor-in-Chief “isn’t something I ever imagined for myself.” She started in the eight-week reporter training her first semester of freshman year and by sophomore year had moved up to Digital Editor, overseeing the website, social media presence, and podcasts. Cross hadn’t even considered applying for the position until previous Editor-in-Chief Sara Teague recommended her for the position based on her passion for The Standard.
The newspaper had to make several big changes at the beginning of this school year, but with the help of Cross they’ve updated how they publish stories to better fit the times. The traditional publication that’s normally distributed around campus has been replaced with a weekly virtual newsletter and biweekly print. The print is a specialized tabloid for specifics topics, like Springfield night life or Homecoming. Recently, The Standard’s first online exclusive publication covering the 2020 election was released. In addition to changing the format of the paper, Cross also helps to make the team more diverse and inclusive. In her early years at The Standard, Cross felt separated from the other students because of the hierarchy in place. Now, one of her goals is to make all the student workers feel more equal and more comfortable talking to anyone on the staff. She also wants to emphasize that anyone can join The Standard, even if they’re not a journalism major.
“Anyone is welcome at The Standard.” —Greta Cross
Never a Missed Opportunity
Outside of The Standard, Cross stays very busy. This semester she’s working on the first collaboration between local nonprofit production company Carbon Trace and The Standard on a documentary about COVID-19 from the student’s perspective, a vlog style film called “16 Weeks.” Over the summer she did an internship at the Jefferson City News Tribune, where she worked on a multimedia series called “Faces of the Fair” and was responsible for interviewing, photographing, filming the interview, and writing a short piece on a different student for each day of the fair. She also did some writing for the News Tribune in the summer of 2019 and decided to return to complete her internship. Cross also uses her assignments as an opportunity to explore things close to her, like this feature written for a class on Springfield’s house show scene. Though the project has been put on hold this semester, last year Cross co-created a podcast with collaborator Jaylen Early called “Between the Headphones.” The series examined current trends in music and featured musicians from the Springfield scene. This podcast is one of three created by The Standard, and Cross and Early hope to return to the project next semester.
Working Towards the Future
Cross first became interested in photography when she was around 10, and found an interest in storytelling through a broadcast journalism class in high school. She didn’t particularly connect with broadcast, but realized she could tie photography in with journalism. Originally, Cross planned to double major in journalism and photography, but adjusted to fit photography as a minor. After graduating she hopes to travel as a freelance photo journalist for a large news source. After growing up in Mokane, Mo., Cross has a huge appreciation for small towns and would also be happy working for a smaller local newspaper. She was brought to Missouri State by the opportunity to work on The Standard which “seemed like what she needed to do” and Brick City’s photography facilities. Cross says that above all else she’s learned patience through her experiences, both with herself and in her work with others. Even if she doesn’t want to work in print forever, Cross aims to learn as much from these opportunities as she can.
“Never lose sight of your goals.” —Greta Cross
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