Fall in Love With Critique

by The Cowl Editor on October 26, 2017

Editor's Column

by Marla Gagne ’18


As you read this article and look over our newest issue, I will just be getting settled in Dallas, Texas. Like thousands of college journalists from around the country, I, along with four other Cowl editors, will be attending the National College Media Convention.

The annual conference is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for young journalists, who spend the weekend hearing accomplished journalists speak, attending workshops to advance their skills, and getting their papers and websites critiqued by experts from the industry. The conference center is filled with buzz as thousands share their passion for writing and reporting the news.

But getting reviewed is nerve-wracking. As a tutor at the Writing Center, I know how hard it can be to have someone read your work. You anxiously await feedback and watch every stroke of the red pen, waiting to be told the bad news.

This week our school underwent its own peer critique, as the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (CIHE/NEASC) talked to students, faculty, and staff to address the strengths and weakness of Providence College. Every part of PC was under scrutiny—from the DWC program and student experience to race relations and dialogue on campus.

In this week’s issue, writers share their thoughts about local and national issues. The opinion section discusses how the media handles figures and also analyzes the state of gun laws after the Las Vegas shooting. On a lighter note, other writers argue for an express line at the Ruane Café, the promise of Miley Cyrus’s new album, and love for the newly evil Taylor Swift.

Criticism is easy to give, harder to get. It takes a little dose of courage to put your ideas and work out there, ready to receive both good and bad feedback. But each year we get a little better with feedback and a little more motivated to get even better reviews for next year. So as you enter your week and hand in papers, audition for a new role, or try a new sport, embrace the criticism and use it to help you. As our advisor Richy Kless always says, “Fall in love with critique.”