Letter from the Editor: We Did This For Your Own Good

Kait Forsythe, Editor-in-Chief

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To answer your question:

yes, it is a magazine now. Pardon me, though I feel the need to include that considering I still get the question “When’s the paper coming out?” Now maybe it’s bad marketing, maybe they forgot, maybe that’s what we get for publishing semesterly, or maybe I’m just a tad bit defensive. Either way, we want you, dear reader, to know that we did this for your own good.

Last year’s guinea pig features magazine experiment had a good run. Five issues strong, to be exact. We did some things wrong. We did some things right. We learned. We failed. We fixed it.

In our second year of the newspaper-to-magazine transition, our editors at Hatter Network reimagined The Reporter magazine, print and digital.

In print, we remade the table of contents pages, the letters pages, the staff pages, and developed the music section, Analogue. Ampersand is now the title for the creative section, rather than a separate zine. We added 2 columns: one on science literacy, the other on current senior research. Our resident astrologer Kitty writes horoscopes. We revived a fan favorite: the Public Safety Highlights Reel. And we even gave the cover a little love: a new logo that hails from the trendy part of the Internet.

Online, our 28-person staff is cranking out daily content on HatterNetwork.com. We initiated a daily news aggregator called The Daily Briefing. We dissolved WHNN, the student video news network, in favor of more varied multimedia content. We’re delivering staff-curated playlists on Spotify and Soundcloud; student opinions on jazz, parking, and opinion pieces; and investigative stories.

We changed because we want to be better.

We changed because we want you to search for those dark green, distribution bins on campus. We changed because we want you, dear reader, to be excited about our content because it’s sharp, relevant, transparent, and full of personality. If we have done our job, then we’re showcasing your best friend, or teammate, or sorority sister– something that simply can’t be done by Buzzfeed, Refinery29, or even *gulp* The New York Times.

We want your dad to sigh or “Hm” over his morning oatmeal as he reads Veronica and Naomi’s DACA story in this issue, which you left on the kitchen counter when you came home for winter break.

The Reporter, an 130-year-old idea,

is based on features journalism, creativity, and verbalizing the inner monologue of our campus community: the issue in your hands no exception. As artists and journalists, we treated this issue as our opportunity to explore empathy. What is it? How do we do it? Why do we do it? Are we inclined to empathize with certain people and neglect others?

The cover design naturally came to mind when we thought: If empathy were captured in an image, what would it look like? And we came back to this idea of stretching. The idea that when we empathize, we are reaching for something: understanding, connectedness, or a hand– simply because sometimes it’s just nice to hold hands.

In the span of one semester,

3 Hurricanes hit the U.S., 11 high-profile men (and counting) faced surfacing sexual assault allegations, 800,000 DACA recipients were kicked out of the American Dream, and 1 tragedy occurred in our own backyard: the sudden death of sophomore footballer Nick Blakely.

Our resilience was tested. As citizens of the world, we felt deeply our duty to perk up, wipe our glasses, and roll up our sleeves.

Frankly, we would be doing you a great disservice if we didn’t use this organization as a platform to address the need for empathy in our world.


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