Mason: ‘I don’t think I’m a journalist, I just love journalism’


News Editor of Diversity Madison Mason is a sophomore in women’s and gender studies. 

Madison Mason

I’m not a journalist, but I am what you would call a social justice warrior. 

For everyone who knows me, I’m an activist. Since I can remember I have been fighting for social justice; whether it be by creating petitions, protesting for different causes, organizing events, speaking at public forums and just overall fighting for what’s right. 

So for those of you who have negative views on the media because you also fight for your causes, I understand and I see you. I was the same way, which is kind of ironic because now I’m the news editor of diversity here at the Iowa State Daily. 

I also didn’t like the media, and some days I still don’t. I thought of news and media as a system with an agenda I hated, and I wanted nothing more than to abolish the whole media system. Well…that was until I got to engage and be a part of the system.

I joined the Iowa State Daily newspaper out of circumstance, pure circumstance. I was at an event for queer folx on campus where I met Logan Metzger, the news editor of diversity at the time, and he simply told me, “Here’s my number, come in and see if you like it.” 

So I did and if you look up my name on the Daily website, you can see I have covered pretty much everything underneath the sun, and I still have so much more to write about. 

The reason I do what I do is simple, if I can’t abolish the system, the least I can do is amplify the voices that need to be heard. I can write about the stories that get lost in the mainstream media, and amplify and project the voices that need to be heard like people of color, LGBTQIA+ folx, people with disabilities, different religions, immigrants, international students, etc.

These people who are a part of marginalized communities need to have stories written about them. For as long as I work in journalism, I will continue to make sure their stories are heard, and I will continue to uplift them. 

I started off being wary of the media system, and ultimately fell in love with the concept of writing and telling the stories of those who need to be heard. However, I don’t think I’m a journalist, and I don’t think I ever will be. I’m just someone who loves and works in journalism.

So on News Engagement Day, I want to introduce you to those I do consider journalists, why they are so important and how they continue to inspire me everyday. 

So first we have the opinion aspect of the Iowa State Daily, in which Peyton Hamel and Ashley Tibbs absolutely smash it. They have a system all their own where they spread the opinions and thoughts of not only people at the Daily, but those in the Iowa State and Ames community as well. 

Following, we have the niche section, where Sydney Novak and Margaret Troup write superb content. Whether it be cute date ideas, reviews or coverage, they absolutely produce the best content in regards to topics about lifestyle, music, arts, etc. 

We then have the sports team; Zane Douglas, Matt Belinson and Stephen McDaniel are absolutely the best sports writers and editors I have ever seen. Not only do they produce content in bulk, but they provide the best sports content where even a nonsports person like me gets excited to read the stories they produce. 

Next we have Amber Mohmand, who in a lot of ways is my counterpart here at the Daily. She writes and specializes in writing about all forms of people in the Iowa State and Ames community, and she writes and produces the best work. 

We also have the people who literally are the reasons I live and breathe well at the Daily, the news editors. Kate Kealey, Kylee Haueter, Jill Even and myself are the coalition that make up the news desk. 

Kate writes the absolute best politics content you will ever read, and during this sociopolitical time, that’s so incredibly important. Kylee is the queen of writing breaking news as well as providing the best student life content. Jill is the best editor ever, in which I would trust her with my life to look at my content, she also covers academics like a star. Without these three, I would be lost, I owe them so much. 

We also have Collin Maguire who covers digital aspects of the Daily, and without him, his camera and digital editing skills we would all be lost. 

Then there’s Paula Bekkerus and Megan Teske who edit all of our stories and are the best at it. We wouldn’t produce the content we do at the quality level it is without the hard work of these two. 

Next there is Victoria Reyna-Rodriguez who is the engagement editor and helps specifically Amber and I a lot with community outreach and diversity topics, and is also more than willing to cover anything if needed. 

We also have Logan Metzger and Gabby Lucas who are the managing editors of content and production. They literally are the backbone of our team, where they have to handle all of us, all of our content and are the heartbeat behind our Daily Dose. 

Then we have the heart and soul of our production team, Sage Smith, our editor-in-chief. She produces, edits, manages and puts her whole being into the Iowa State Daily, and we wouldn’t be able to accomplish what we do without her. 

A quick shoutout to Mark “Spoon” Witherspoon as well, who got us all involved in journalism in the first place. Where would we be without him? 

So when you read the stories that come from the Iowa State Daily in our Daily Dose, acknowledge the heart and soul these incredible journalists put into the news you get to read and acknowledge the amazing work they provide.

It’s News Engagement Day, maybe take the time to read some news that is produced by these wonderful people today, and maybe read their stuff tomorrow too.