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Reflecting on a year as news editor

I’ve been the news editor of Mustang News for a year now, folks.

Wow. That statement is still slightly unbelievable to me.

I walked into the News’ office for my first day Aug. 3, 2020 — in high block heels, mind you. How completely naïve of me to think those suckers would last the entire workday.

I’ve invested in more penny loafers since my first day, which I’m sure you’ve noticed. Ladies, if you don’t own a pair, march yourself down to Designer Shoe Warehouse and thank me later.

My, oh my, how life has a beautiful way of changing just within a year.

The phrase “time flies” is such an understatement to me. I despise how quickly time flies at moments.

Telling your stories is a privilege to me. There have been many a time where I wished I could stay in an interview longer to learn more about your lives and the impact you’ve had on your communities.

Deadlines, man, they can get in the way.

When I think about all the things I’ve learned and accomplished in a year at my first journalism job outside of college, I’m astonished — floored with myself, if I’m being completely honest. Your young journalist never would have expected to have a second mother for a boss, let alone having a third when our angel of an office manager arrived.

Not to mention being frustratingly challenged by my first managing editor, the one and only Terry Groover. One of the craziest things is I actually take after his keen editing abilities — what my production manager and I call, “pulling a Terry.”

I learned so much from Groover, and I got to add even more rewarding lessons to my journalist toolbelt from one of the best in the industry, Mark Codner. God bless that man.

Fast forward to March 2021 and Michael Pineda enters the picture — your current reigning managing editor.

*Insert evil laugh* I enjoy giving the Comanche native a hard time. Don’t worry, he can take it.

I wish you could experience the fun our office has daily. My people are one in a zillion.

We added to our family with the temporary addition of our summer intern, Dacoda McDowell-Wahpekeche, who experienced our hourly dance parties — lucky him. 

If you would have told me I would be a mentor in my first year of working fulltime as a journalist, I would have sarcastically chuckled and hit you with a “Clueless” ‘As if.’

News flash, I was Obi-Wan to my Padawan. Apparently, there’s a lot you can teach someone who is three years younger than you.

Another learning curve for me is being OK with letting mentees go. I was an emotional wreck last week, according to my co-workers.

Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma is lucky to have McDowell-Wahpekeche. Expect great things from him — I taught him well.

God only gives us so much time. I’ll continue to spend mine telling your stories and enjoying the moments I have with my amazing team.

Cheers to a year, Mustang!

Haley Humphrey is the news editor of Mustang News. She can be reached at or 405-354-5264.

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