Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
March 30, 2020 | °F in Baltimore

Public Editor



THE PUBLIC EDITOR: A snapshot of The News-Letter’s shifting photo culture

If you even casually flipped through last week’s paper, you probably noticed the stunningly striking photo essay, “Frozen land: scenes from the Swedish mountaintops.” What you may not have noticed, though, was that the photographer’s name appeared elsewhere in the issue alongside photos assigned to articles. Yes, please join me in extending a warmest welcome to  the paper’s newest contributing photographer.


THE PUBLIC EDITOR: Before plugging in your headphones, try plugging into Charm City’s arts scene

You’re a Hopkins student. You wake up, and if you’re not already on campus you’re probably no more than a few minutes away. You grab coffee and a croissant from Brody Cafe before class. You catch the JHMI, which ferries you across Baltimore to the Hospital’s doorstep. You’re in the lab, head bent, back aching for hours. You head back to campus, hit up the library and then the rec center. You grab dinner at the FFC or, if you’re feeling adventurous, somewhere along St. Paul, on your way home.


THE PUBLIC EDITOR: Making the most of Your Weekend in Baltimore (Hopkins bubble optional)

What is Your Weekend? I’m not talking about the weekend, those horribly magical two days during which you can both take a breather from the last week and work yourself into a panic about the next. Nor do I mean The Weeknd, whose mixtape collection Trilogy remains perennially underrated. And while we’re on music, I should clarify that I’m definitely not thinking of SZA’s timeless sidechick anthem “The Weekend.”




THE PUBLIC EDITOR: Who appeared in The News-Letter this fall?

When I started recording data on the number of different types of perspectives represented in The News-Letter, I wanted to give editors a benchmark to measure the scope of each week. That’s not to say they should always strive to increase these numbers — at some point, the paper will reach critical mass and just be too full. Instead, I hope it can offer a new way to track coverage from one week to the next.


THE PUBLIC EDITOR: On print deadlines, making time for sources and sketching the elephant

A firm press deadline can feel like the end-all be-all for News-Letter reporters in the run-up to Wednesday night. The news editors wrap up their section and head home sometime early Thursday morning while the Editors-in-Chief send the pages off to print. If they’re lucky, the news team will have time to breathe over the weekend until Wednesday starts to loom again.


THE PUBLIC EDITOR: Popping the humanities bubble, one section at a time

As the Public Editor, I scrutinize the ways the paper represents its readers. The News-Letter is a campus newspaper, and undergraduate students make up the primary readership. I think a lot about the different types of undergrads that the paper represents, as well as who is most likely to pick up a fresh issue on a Thursday afternoon. 



THE PUBLIC EDITOR: On crafting a more representative front page

After three and a half years at The News-Letter, I’m pretty confident that I’d ace a quiz on the parts of the paper’s front page. Even just above the fold — what we call the top half that’s visible when you see the paper around campus — there’s already a lot going on.


THE PUBLIC EDITOR: On respectfully representing survivors of sexual violence

Four and a half years ago, the University shut down the Hopkins chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon after reports of sexual assault at one of the fraternity’s parties. In an editorial headlined “SAE suspension wrong, requires reversal,” The News-Letter called the decision “draconian,” prompting understandable pushback from readers.


THE PUBLIC EDITOR: Donuts, ad space and alumni: on sustaining print journalism

So last week’s editorial was titled “Does print journalism have a future?” Pretty dramatic. I bet the irony was especially tactile if you read that in the print issue. More likely, though, you were reading online. Maybe you were browsing our website or our Facebook page, and you raised your eyebrows and thought, this feels relevant to what I’m doing right at this very moment.


THE PUBLIC EDITOR: September 2019 in The News-Letter

You might notice that something’s a bit different this week — I’m not directly responding to reader criticisms! Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean I haven’t heard from any readers recently. Y’all are out there and you definitely have thoughts, so continue to share those with me.


THE PUBLIC EDITOR: On curating a dialogue through the permanence of the printed word

The News-Letter got a letter to the editor this week. It’s the first in quite a while — the first this calendar year, actually. In the last two years, the paper has only received 11 letters to the editor, three of which responded to a particularly spicy op-ed arguing that conservatives’ free speech was under attack. This made me wonder: what exactly is a letter to the editor?



THE PUBLIC EDITOR: Recapturing visual storytelling at The News-Letter

Let me set a scene: It’s late on a Wednesday night at the Gatehouse, the little cottage at the bottom corner of campus where The News-Letter happens. News editors have just begun to lay out their pages, and have realized that they don’t have enough photos. Let the brainstorming begin — run across campus to snap a quick pic of such-and-such building even though it’s dark. Pester writers to see if they took any photos. When in doubt, use a file photo of the Gilman clock tower.




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