Letter from the editor

Dear Lafayette community,

It has been a busy year. Expansion plans, political protests and a hunger strike that made national news are just a few stories that we’ve covered this academic year. At times, it is exhausting. At others, it’s frustrating. But, always, it’s rewarding.

National discussions around “the media” today tend to revolve around whether or not it tells the public the non-biased, cold-hard truth. Allegations of “fake news,” a term that quickly spiraled into a graveyard of meaninglessness, were spread across social media. Some feared threats on the press would lead to a society without a quality source of information. Others accused the media of unfair, biased coverage.

Regardless, the importance of having a good, free press entered into the national conversation in a way that it hasn’t in at least the past decade. To be clear, I’m not comparing the work we do at The Lafayette to that of the national press. What I am saying, though, is that a free press is a vital element to any community. That has never been clearer than in the past year.

During my time as editor, we overcame the threat of bankruptcy, built up our staff and focused on solid reporting. I think in my past two and a half years as editor-in-chief, we’ve come far. If nothing else, we have made the workings of the college more transparent and provided a source of information that Lafayette community members can’t get anywhere else.

It wouldn’t have happened without our staff, especially my fellow graduating seniors. Ian Morse ’17 has been a constant source of energy on the paper, as well as a great reporter, editor and friend. Michael Keating ‘17 keeps the staff going on difficult nights, and has a never-failing eye for clean editing and writing. I have no doubts the quality of the paper will continue after we leave.

Kathryn Kelly ‘19 is moving from news editor to editor-in-chief, and I have never met anyone more prepared for the job. Caroline Nawrocki ‘18 is coming back as managing editor, Claire Grunewald ’20 is taking over as news editor, Morgan Sturm ’19 as arts editor, AJ Traub ‘20 as sports editor, Gillian Henry ’19 and Marie Bucklin ’20 as co-design directors and Lauren Fox ’19 as photo editor.

All will continue doing the incredible work they’ve already been doing, and we hope that new talent will help us grow. I’m sure next year won’t be less busy than this one, and the oldest college newspaper in Pennsylvania will be there to report on it.

Sincerely,
William W. Gordon

About William Gordon

William Gordon '17 is the editor-in-chief of The Lafayette. He writes about student government, law, financial aid and music. He's studying English and government & law with a minor in economics.

4 comments

Earlier this week, Campus Life and the Aaron O. Hoff Awards selection committee awarded The Lafayette with The Greatest Strides Award, which recognizes a student organization that has demonstrated an evident amount of improvement.
Here’s what was read at that ceremony and worth repeating here for others who were unable to attend this year’s Hoff Awards: It has been a long-standing Friday morning tradition in the Office of Residence Life to await the Farinon delivery of the oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania. We are avid readers and are often tapped for comments so we are sure to read the latest edition. This year we have noted an increase in the journalistic professionalism of the newspaper staff and publication. The improvement of the quality of writing, reporting, and topics covered have been among the conversations we have about the paper. It is reported that online readership has increased four-fold. Under the guidance of the editors and faculty advisor, the paper has improved readability with infographics, expanded writing styles, outreach, and design. They have worked with the budding journalists to mentor them on interviewing and research techniques and the development of interpersonal skills. The writers have followed stories more often this year writing multiple pieces on a topic of interest. There have been seven pieces on sexual assault reporting and eighteen pieces on the College’s expansion to maintain transparency. One editor has said “everything is done with the readers (the Lafayette community) in mind. A piece is not done until it is completely fact-checked and well-told.” This group has Challenged the Process by taking risks: looking into intense stories, stepping outside of their comfort zones every week, meeting new people, and learning about hidden topics. Join me in recognizing the staff of The Lafayette for achieving Great Strides.

Congratulations, Will and Ian, and the entire team on a year worthy of your own headline story.

To the editors and entire newspaper team: A year end thanks for a job well done! Your thoughtful and diligent journalism is apparent throughout all of this year’s issues. Congratulations to the new appointees and best of luck to all the graduating seniors!

Best wishes, Will — it was an honor to work with you while I was at Lafayette. At a time when the college’s substantive commitment to transparency, co-governance, and community involvement/participation has been called into question, your integrity and dedication to the very best standards of reporting has made a real difference.

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