For more than 100 years The Famuan has covered this campus as completely and fairly as possible.
We get a tip, we get our story and then we’re done. But what happens when that story hits too close to home?
That’s exactly what happened on Thanksgiving Day.
I received a phone call telling me that my friend and news editor, Nefertiti Williams, had passed away.
The initial shock alone sent my brain spinning. I thought of every possible way this could be a mistake, but it wasn’t.
I then had the task of calling the staff of The Famuan and giving them the terrible news.
It was, by far, the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.
Our hearts were heavy as we drifted back into Tallahassee from our various locations.
We all wondered how The Famuan would ever be the same. The truth is, it won’t.
Nefertiti, nicknamed “Storm” by her newspaper colleagues, was a major part of The Famuan family. Her absence is almost too much for us to bear. It’s hard to think of how we can pick up the pieces of our broken family and move on.
But that’s what we will do.
Those who knew Nefertiti knew she was about business.
No matter what came up, it was important to take care of business first.
As a budding journalist, she believed that every story deserved the same amount of coverage. It was important to approach every story with no bias or favoritism.
So although Nefertiti’s death hurts us deeply, we at The Famuan will apply her philosophy, and give our dear sister Nefertiti the same amount of publicity that we would anyone else.
It hurts our staff so much to be able to do so little, but we know as journalists that Nefertiti would demand that we not use the newspaper as a medium to deliver our personal feelings. That’s bad business, and Nefertiti would not stand for it.
Therefore, we will use The Famuan to let the campus know what an amazing person she was. We will celebrate her life, not reflect on her untimely death.
We will continue and finish this semester strong. We know that we would do her no honor if we stopped in our tracks and let this newspaper that she cared so much about fall to the wayside.
It is true that it will be hard not seeing her F.A.C.E.S bag laying around the office, hearing the occasional, “Chile, let me tell you…” speeches, or watching her use the aisle as her personal runway, but somehow, we will manage.
The strength she had will keep us going.
We will never know why this tragedy happened, but we will be thankful to know that she is in a better place.
Her spirit will always live on in The Famuan’s newsroom and all of our hearts.
So to our news editor, friend and sister, Nefertiti Nicole Williams, we salute your life and your legacy and vow to never let your memory die.
We love you, Storm, and we know you’re smiling down on us from heaven. God bless you.
Sidney Wright IV is a junior broadcast journalism student from Tampa. He is editor in chief of The Famuan. He can be reached at email@example.com.