Public Editor

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

December 5, 2019

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.

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

November 14, 2019

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. 

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THE PUBLIC EDITOR: On crafting a more representative front page

October 31, 2019

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

October 24, 2019

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.

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

October 17, 2019

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

October 10, 2019

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.

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

October 8, 2019

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?

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

October 8, 2019

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.