About six years ago, The Occidental Weekly was struggling to keep up. The school hired a new advisor to help whip the paper into shape, making sure all news would be fit to print. Since then, we’ve racked up numerous prestigious awards, record-breaking applications year to year as well as an impressive readership that extends far beyond the gates of the campus.
But sometimes, numbers and plaques aren’t enough. The most important things often are not quantifiable.
This year, we’re going by a different metric. Rather than striving for awards, we will strive to become a resource that best serves the campus community. We will aim higher and more holistically to provide the news that matters to you, all of you, as best we can, in the most engaging formats. We hope to pioneer the future of college journalism.
So we’ve made some massive changes. We reevaluated our hiring processes to communicate more effectively our hunger for a larger representation of student voices in the newsroom. We’re collaborating with organizations across campus, including Catalist, KOXY and the Center for Digital Liberal Arts (CDLA), to pool resources to support each other’s work and deliver the best possible products for you. We want to actively contribute to the community beyond our journalistic obligations.
We hosted a public writing workshop at the beginning of the semester that attracted students from across majors, unaffiliated with the Weekly. So we’ve put another on the calendar for October. Look out for writing and data visualization workshops in the weeks to come. Our last event is top secret at the moment, but we’ll just hint that you’ll likely want to keep open your plans for election night.
We’re catching up to the times by printing biweekly instead of weekly to focus on our digital content, which we’ll push more frequently than ever. We’ve hired an entire tech team to push the boundaries of what are the perceived limits of college journalism. We redesigned our website entirely and conglomerated a team of data journalists to open up a new tech space on campus, in part to bolster the college’s efforts to build out a substantial and competitive computer science department.
In addition to the traditional team of photographers, this year we hired videographers and illustrators as well, to bring as many talented students together as possible as we plunge into multimedia. For a break from the news, we’ve created a new humor tab on the website where you can find clever jokes that will make you laugh but also think.
In addition to a diversity of talent and media, we care deeply about finding and offering a diversity of voices. That’s why we’ve decided to crowdsource articles in our Opinions section. If you’ve got something to say, we want you to provide the platform to help you say it loud. Submit your pitch here. Feel like keeping your opinions to yourself, but have a helpful tip for an article? We want that too. Tweet us @oxyweekly, or message us on Facebook.
Above all, we are committed to insisting Occidental think hard about what “dialogue” really means, and what it really looks like. We’re sick of buzzwords, and we’re sick of staying silent about it.
This editorial represents the collective opinion of The Occidental Weekly editorial board. Each week, the editorial board will publish its viewpoint on a matter relevant to the Occidental Community.