Senior Column | ‘It’s been a long time coming’

I wouldn’t be the person or journalist I am today without The Daily Iowan.


Ayrton Breckenridge

Photo by Ayrton Breckenridge

Hannah Pinski, Executive Editor

I couldn’t help but choose a Taylor Swift lyric as the headline for my senior column. No, it’s not just because it’s the opener to “The Eras Tour,” which I’m seeing in June.

These past four years felt like they went by in the blink of an eye, yet freshman year feels like it was forever ago. The lyric from the queen herself perfectly describes that sentiment.

I stumbled into the world of journalism and The Daily Iowan by chance. When I started my freshman year of college, I thought I was going to work in public relations. After taking one strategic communication class my first semester, I realized PR wasn’t for me.

I never imagined that I would get to say that I’ve led one of the top student newspapers in the country. From leading coverage for the 2022 Midterm Election to reporting on the Iowa women’s basketball team’s historic run, this year hasn’t been without excitement, to say the least.

I wouldn’t have been able to do this job without so many people.

First, I need to thank my parents for reading every byline I’ve sent them and for all the support they’ve given me since I stepped on campus.

I’ve also been lucky enough to work closely with DI Publisher Jason Brummond and writing coach Jennifer Wagner, who have both guided me through some of the toughest challenges I didn’t know I would have to face this year. I wouldn’t be the journalist or the leader I am today without all the mentorship, support, and criticism that they’ve given me.

I want to also thank my violin professor, Dr. Scott Conklin, who I’ve had the privilege of working with for all four years of my undergraduate career. Beyond teaching me the violin, he’s also been one of the biggest supporters of my career and gave me the grace when I didn’t come to some lessons as prepared as I should’ve because of breaking news.

Beyond mentors, Shahab, who’s my best friend and my rock, kept me grounded when I needed to be. He was the one who listened to every rant, saw many tears shed, and always believed that I could do this job, even when I didn’t believe in myself (and who is also brave enough to accompany me to “The Eras Tour”).

There’s been a lot of memories made in this newsroom, and that’s because of the people who work here. Despite late nights and emergency meetings with Managing Editors Ryan Hansen and Sabine Martin, we have had our fair share of laughs and banter, and I wouldn’t have been able to do this job without them.

My collegiate journalism era may be coming to an end, and while I’m excited for what’s in store, a part of me will miss this newsroom and community.

Beyond the awards I’ve earned, bylines I’ve published, and mistakes I’ve made, the thing I’m most proud of is my growth as a journalist and a person.

And I’ll make sure to use everything I learn as a metro reporter this summer for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s internship program.

So, to the Iowa City and UI communities, and to everyone who’s been a part of this journey: Thank you. Every experience in this newsroom was worth it.