After three men, including two Auburn University football players, were killed in a shooting near the university, the student staff of AU’s The Auburn Plainsman was called in to work overtime for what could possibly be the biggest story they may cover as student journalists.
John Carvalho, faculty advisor for The Plainsman, wrote a column detailing how these student journalists dropped the student and covered the shooting like true journos starting with Andrew Yawn, community editor of the paper, who spent the night at the crime of the scene.
Andrew headed to bed after his article, and other students began to arrive at The Plainsman office. Ben Croomes, summer opinion editor, showed up with his sister, Rebecca Croomes, who is not on The Plainsman staff this summer but came anyway to help take photos. TJ Harlin, campus editor, also arrived, along with Nathan Simone, social media editor. John Holtrop, sports editor, called from his early-morning job at a local golf course (Maybe college students work harder than we think) and promised to join them when he got off work at 10 a.m., having worked since sunrise. Graphic design editor Rachel Suhs and summer photo editor Danielle Lowe also pitched in.
Carvalho writes how The Plainsman staff took charge and strategized as a team tackling the shooting from all angles and teaming up with fellow staffers instead of preoccupying themselves with claiming a byline.
Despite the unfortunate deaths of these three individuals, it’s interesting to see how these students did what we all wish we could have done in that moment: react, cover and write.
And there, alongside veteran journalists with fatter paychecks and more experience, The Auburn Plainsman staff showed themselves to be equal to the task.
To follow The Plainsman’s ongoing coverage of the shooting and its aftermath, click here.