Hi again, Conn. It feels good to write. I haven’t had my words printed in The College Voice in months, which may be why there are so many of them in this issue. There might actually be too many, but so it goes.
It’s different now, though, to write and print this paper, since I’m now the face of it. This time around, going to press is a sigh of relief. The paper you hold is proof that I can, in fact, produce an issue as person-in-charge. And though I felt relatively certain that I could do that, it had still never happened before. I’m glad to have it confirmed.
It’s been strange coming into this halfway through the year, especially because it’s meant introducing myself to a lot of new people who are supposed to believe that they are my staff simply because they voted me in. In the fall, while I was abroad in Nicaragua, I worried constantly about how the Voice would change while I was away, as if this modest student paper would morph into some sort of mutant for me to later wrangle. It didn’t.
It has changed, yes, and we’re operating with almost an entirely new cast, but I should have relaxed and had faith in Aparna. She’s smart, and she hired smart people. And when I got back here, I flitted around and pestered them constantly with surveys and suggestions followed by assurances that I do, in fact, know what I am doing (to the degree that any of us do). I adopted a mantra about how I’d dedicated two years to the Voice before going abroad, worried that they wouldn’t buy it. They did.
This is all to say that I am truly grateful to have this team, for their support, their ideas and their acceptance of a new EIC who may seem a little hyperactive and a lot wordy. And I’m grateful to Aparna, for compiling them and moving forth with a vision for a better Voice. If you were to ask her now whether I was annoying as hell last semester, she might lie to protect me. Or, knowing Aparna, and knowing that she is logical, critical and honest, she might tell you the truth: that I bombarded her over email with particularized questions about technicalities and shifts that I felt were being made under my feet, shifts that, I realize now, were what we call “progress.” And in the tradition of that progress–and of my inclination to micromanage–I am pleased to announce two developments that come to the Voice with this release:
1) Accountability surveys. Beginning with this issue, the Voice will send out a Google form to all of the sources our writers interview. In these forms, interviewees will evaluate how accurately they were quoted or represented and have the opportunity to request a correction in our subsequent print edition. If needed, print corrections will also return.
2) Cookie critiques. It’s a simple exchange: write a critique of the Voice; get a cookie. Our first cookie critique will be Tuesday, Feb. 7 in Shain. Stop by the first-floor lobby between 2:30 and 6:30 pm and you’ll find me, a pile of Voice copies, a stack of notecards and lots of cookies. I’m even getting a gluten-free box.
Hopefully these changes will help improve the Voice’s accuracy, relevancy and receptiveness to its audience. In this bizarre era of “alternative facts” and other buzzwords so baffling they become tiring, we need to work on journalism more than ever.