From the desk of the Editor in Chief

By
September 5, 2012

Dear Mills Community,

A year ago I welcomed the Mills community to The Campanil as its new Editor in Chief. Now, I am welcoming you all to my second and final year as this paper’s leader.

I am fumbling for something new to say, as my relationship with this newspaper and the field of journalism remains very much the same. But, in light of it being my list year at Mills, I suppose I can get a little sentimental.

Running a newspaper and leading a team of  amazing journalists to produce an award-winning product is both rewarding and exhilarating. I am not a religious person, but being a part of this newspaper is about as close as I’ve come to feeling blessed.

Our newsroom is sacred to me. It is a safe place where we can attempt to tell the story of Mills College through the lens of its community.

We take our space. both its privacy and its inclusion, very seriously. It is what allows us to tell the tough stories, to make our sources and our collaborators feel safe sharing their secrets and their work, to have a space for our writers and editors to brainstorm without prying eyes and to shield them from any form of potential censorship lurking outside.

Since the Daily Californian’s unfortunate fiscal crisis this summer, I have debated sharing with the Mills community (and the Oakland community) our own budget. The journalist side of me want to embrace our community and be as open as possible about where we get our funds and how we use them. The other side of me (admittedly, the “business” persona of my job title) worries that the threats we already face for losing our space, losing our readership and losing our freedom of expression will double or triple in light of what I want to share with you all.

But, the journalist side of me wins, as it usually does. We will be publishing our own budget from last school year on our website. This is the same budget we presented to ASMC at the end of last spring during our appeal for an increased stipend from the student government. Please take a look at it, I want you all to know where your money is being spent and why.

As many of you know, The Campanil is funded both by the Associated Students of Mills College and advertising revenue. You may also be aware that we receive the largest sum offered out to student organizations by ASMC. This means that we are funded in large part by the student activity fee that all undergraduate students must pay.

I do want to clarify that this does not mean we are funded by Mills College. The amount of money we receive, indeed, the money all student groups receive, is discussed and voted on by our student government. Another reason why getting involved in our student government is so important.

This is a long winded way of saying, thank you. Our readership is quite literally our source of income. You are making this paper succeed just as much as our editors and our writers. We are so grateful that the student body continues to understand our significance and importance on campus and off.

Even though it is clear to me that this community is committed to maintaining an excellent newspaper, I would like to reiterate why it is so important for this campus to have a student-run publication like The Campanil:

Journalism is more than seeing your name in print. It is learning something new about the world, your community and yourself with each article and interview. It is the collaborative environment inherent to the newsroom. It is knowing that someone, somewhere has benefited from your research and presentation. It is knowing that you, yourself have made some small difference somewhere in the world, even if it’s only for one person.

We at The Campanil are eager to share all of these qualities with the rest of the Mills community. Journalism is not just for the writers and editors;  it is for the readers. As a journalist, I want to know what my readers want to read. I want to know what stories have moved my readers — what stories have made them cry, scream, smile or giggle. Knowing your readership is the first step in creating a meaningful community newspaper, which is what The Campanil is striving to be.

Even though my staff and I pride ourselves in our professionalism and journalistic integrity, we are all students. We are all still learning what it’s like to be reporters and editors, and we all still make mistakes. However, we encourage pressure from our  peers, our readers and our educators — from you — to right our wrongs and to learn from every misstep we take.

In other words, we rely heavily on community support and collaboration. We cannot improve ourselves and our publication without the voices of the community telling us what they want to see.

Our publication comes out every Tuesday, excluding some days when the school is on break or when there is a holiday. Please pick up your free copy each week at one of our many locations on campus.

We update our website (www.thecampanil.com) throughout the week. Please check it out and leave some comments!

The Campanil regularly updates its Facebook and Twitter profiles as well. We tend to save those particular mediums for breaking news and short tid-bits about the goings on of our community.

Last, but not least, every Monday night at 5 p.m., The Campanil hosts our weekly pitch meeting where our editors, our writers, and members of the community can all share their ideas about what should be in the paper.

Pitch meetings are open to all members of the Mills community and are an opportunity for you to share with us what you want to see in The Campanil.  Plus, there are free snacks and coffee!

Sincerely,

Lauren-Marie Sliter

Editor in Chief

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From the desk of the Editor in Chief was published on September 5, 2012 in Headline Story, Opinions

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  • PK Lilly

    Lauren, I absolutely love this letter! The part that moved me the most is your reiteration on Journalism and quote, “knowing that someone, somewhere has benefited from your research
    and presentation and knowing that you, yourself have made some small
    difference somewhere in the world, even if it’s only for one person.” As an outside reader and future Mills woman, I’m pleased to assure you that you have made a difference; I am living proof. I can’t express my gratitude enough. You are a beauty, liberty, and inspiration. Congratulations, Lauren Sliter!

  • Lauren Sliter

    Thank you so much!