Last week, we sent The News-Letter off to the printer at 7 a.m. and finished the most rewarding and stressful year of our lives. Since our first week as Editors-in-Chief, we have tried our hardest to put out the best possible product, but the success of this paper never rested on us alone.
We’re going to use our last article in this wonderful newspaper to thank all of you — writers, editors and readers — who held The News-Letter to a higher standard this year. We’ve made serious mistakes in the past, and we would like to thank the entire Hopkins community for giving us and student journalism another chance.
Journalism is inherently a group effort. We rely on our frontline reporters and writers, our photographers, our web and business teams and our editors. We work hundreds of hours as a team to produce our 24 pages of content every week. Without everyone doing their part, The News-Letter would never come out every Thursday.
This year’s incredible staff helped us share the most important stories that have rocked our University. Activism on Homewood Campus has exploded, and we’ve been there every step of the way. From the Humanities Center protests to the fossil fuel divestment movement, Hopkins students have shown that they’re not apathetic, that they care about politics and the future of our University.
Two of our goals for this year were to use our platform to amplify the voices of the marginalized and to hold the University accountable for its actions both on campus and in Baltimore.
Through our strong news coverage and editorials, we’ve challenged the University to answer the questions that contract workers, black students and student protesters have been asking. But, of course, our coverage is nothing without the brave students and community members who have risked their own positions and power to challenge the status quo.
As a local paper, we’re dedicated to Baltimore, and this year we’ve tried our best to work with the community. We can’t ever forget that we’re a part of this city and that our actions can sometimes do more harm than good. Sixty years later, Hopkins is still struggling with the legacy of Henrietta Lacks and its relationship with communities of color in our city.
The News-Letter’s pieces on gentrification in Remington and the aftermath of the Baltimore uprising have brought the problems that the Baltimore community faces to the attention of those of us living inside the Hopkins bubble. It’s important that our student body and the community have a space to pressure the University. That’s what we’ve aimed to provide this year.
The News-Letter has shown its commitment to creativity in Baltimore too. Our Arts & Entertainment section has embedded itself in the vibrant music scene in Baltimore. They’ve fostered good relationships with local bands and artists and told the student body about the wonders of social trap and Ty Dolla $ign.
Next year, the Arts section will continue to value both Hopkins performance groups and the local arts scene. As funding for arts journalism declines, the presence of college newspapers has only become more important.
From Sports to Your Weekend and Cartoons, we’ve seen all of our sections improve over the past year. We hope the Voices section will continue to offer community members a free space to share their thoughts, opinions and perspectives no matter how often they are overlooked. Next year, we hope that our paper becomes a home for even more diverse voices.
After publishing the heartfelt and powerful stories in our special Identity Issue, we know that there are still so many incredible perspectives to share. We hope that you will continue to trust The News-Letter with your stories.
We place immense pressure on ourselves as student journalists, and because of this shared responsibility, The News-Letter has become a family. Wednesday production nights are when we do our most crucial work but also when we have the most fun.
We’re going to miss scribbling quotes on the walls and our late night treks to 7-11 to continue our caffeine-fueled madness. We’ll miss the random screeching and the last minute edits on important articles, the ridiculous music and even the crises.
But of course we’re going to miss our wonderful, hard-working editors and staff the most. You all have worked so hard, and we couldn’t have asked for a better team.
Although we have to say goodbye to the Gatehouse and everyone who works inside, we’re confident that The News-Letter under our successors Sam Fossum and Rollin Hu will only continue to improve. As our readers and community members continue to take action and ignite change, The News-Letter will continue to share and document their work.
Thank you for a fantastic year. We’ll be reading!