The Tator

The fall of The Spectator

Kyra Price

More stories from Kyra Price

Across the Pond
February 14, 2024
The Tator

This is a satirical article and is not meant to be taken seriously. It does not reflect the opinions of The Spectator or UW-Eau Claire.

This is a developing story and more information will be posted as it becomes available.

6:37 p.m.

This report is being brought to you in real time from the office of The Spectator. What started as an ordinary meeting has devolved into chaos. Updates will be posted as often as possible, but I worry this may be my final article.

6:42 p.m.

Today’s editorial board meeting started as they usually do, with our gang of eight gathered around the table in the side room. Editor-in-Chief Smelliot Adams began the meeting, but seemed a little apprehensive.

I found this tone change to be weird, but ignored it, as it is only a month until finals, so most students are on edge.

Adams opened the meeting by suggesting a change in the production of the next copy of the paper, saying that everyone seemed burnt out, and the best decision would be to cut back on articles for the coming week.

All editors seemed to be on board, agreeing that they were also burnt out, but Adams’ next suggestion caused the group to break out into pandemonium.

6:48 p.m.

The formerly agreeable group of editors looked shocked when Adams announced that he was considering ceasing the production of printed newspapers, beginning next semester.

News Editor Kaddie Masper rose from her chair and looked Adams in the eye as the other editors cowered back into their seats in what I could only assume was fear.

“We can’t stop print,” Masper said. “Do you understand the dangerous precedent that sets? You will ruin the future of this paper.”

Adams responded that the idea was not set in stone but a mere suggestion, and too many papers went to waste.

Toby Less stood from his chair next, joining Masper.

“Ending print would bring shame to The Spectator,” said Less. “Instead, we should produce one 20 page paper at the end of every semester.”

At this, the room erupted in chaos.

6:59 p.m.

I watched in trepidation as the other editors stood, one by one. As chief copy editor, I am at the bottom of the editing hierarchy, which in this moment I was grateful for, as maybe I would not be noticed if I were to slip out the door.

I rolled slowly back in my chair, creeping closer and closer to the door, when Masper noticed and stepped in front of my only way out.

“Where do you think you’re going?” Masper said. “You haven’t turned in the Blotter yet.”

I looked up at Masper, trembling. I knew I had been caught, and if I did not come up with an excuse for my attempt at departure, I would become another has-been editor, my only legacies being my ode to Chick-a-dees and obsession with Hilltop work out classes.

I stood, facing the rest of the editors, deciding that I would not let my articles be sent to the archives without at least putting up a fight.

“What if,” I said, my voice trembling, “we created a Spectator app.”

7:07 p.m.

At my suggestion, the anger in the room became palpable, with editors pulling past issues from the shelf and rolling them, now physically turning on each other.

With this new level of mayhem, I was finally able to escape out the door of the staff meeting room.

The Spectator staff meetings start at 7 p.m., so as I sprinted out the door, I was met with the confused faces of the staff writers.

My heart ached for them, but I knew I could not look back if I wanted to make it out alive. I pushed through the glass door to the headquarters and ran down the hallway to take shelter in the only place I could think of, the Mac lab.

I locked the door behind me and sat at a desktop, pleading for it to load faster. My safety is important, but as a student journalist, my first priority is to share the truth with the public.

7:16 p.m.

This leads me to now. As I sit in the lab, typing this final section, preparing to hit upload and send this story out into the world, I cannot help but think back on all the writers that came before me.

If I do not make it to the next edition, or if the newspaper simply ceases to exist, I hope I will go down as a martyr, someone who risked their life to share the truth with the students and staff of UW-Eau Claire.

Price can be reached at [email protected].