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The Hilltop


The Managing Editor’s Reflection

N’Dia Webb, The Hilltop’s managing editor, ends her four years at the publication. She poses in a cap and gown with the 2022 Homecoming Edition. (N’Dia Webb graduation photo)

The Hilltop found me through a recommendation of my English professor, during my freshman year at Howard, which was entirely spent online. Upon first hearing the name, nothing came to mind. I was ignorantly unaware of the rich history that stood behind it, and the potential that stood ahead of it. Reflecting on that girl now, who didn’t know a thing, I’m a little embarrassed.

With no journalistic experience under my belt, and only essays being my clips, I applied for The Hilltop as a reporter, trying to find some sense of normalcy in my experience. And while the dynamic then was much different than the years that followed, my reporting from home, along with research of The Hilltop, let me know that I found my place.

Coming to campus my sophomore year, I was eager to meet all of my virtual colleagues and continue my tenure with the paper, this time, as a copy editor. It was on that desk where I met one of my best friends. Many nights, we were the only ones in the office, working late to save the copies, laughing, crying, eating, making mistakes along the way, but most importantly, growing from them. Not only as journalists, but as people. 

We took these experiences with us into our first years as editor-in-chief and managing editor, this time with a more specific goal in mind: return The Hilltop to the journalistic standard and popularity that it held in decades prior, ahead of its centennial in 2024. From there, Jasper and I worked diligently, making sacrifices to our social, and sometimes academic, lives. 

We both lived and breathed The Hilltop, which was one of the reasons why we were able to see the growth that we did. That, and our advisor, Mr. Keith L. Alexander, who kept us accountable and taught us something new every single week. 

I do not mean it lightly when I say that I believe God put everything in place for my life. My time at Howard led me to The Hilltop in its centennial year, and led me to Jasper, and for that, I am eternally grateful. 

And while I could go on and on about our analytics, the work we’ve done on the website, the people we’ve interviewed, the change we’ve made, the awards we’ve won or even the centennial celebration, I can confidently say that I am most proud of the team we cultivated.

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To our dedicated staff, past and present, who have poured their passion into every word, photo, meeting, correction box and every other nuance that comes with the job – thank you for being the driving force behind The Hilltop‘s legacy.  None of our success would’ve been possible without you. 

While we were your leaders, it was you who inspired and taught us.

Over the past 100 years, The Hilltop has been more than a newspaper; it’s been a voice, a heartbeat and a testament to the rich legacy of Howard University. We have fearlessly chronicled the stories, challenges and triumphs of our community, reflecting the dynamic spirit that defines us all.

I am leaving a piece of myself behind with The Hilltop, understanding that it will always be my call home when I need to be grounded, or just when I want to know what’s going on at Howard.

Thank you to everyone that has poured into this organization and into me. I graduate knowing that The Hilltop will be in hands that can carry us into our next 100 years, filled with continued excellence, the spirit of our founders and a commitment to truth that resonates across generations.

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