The first day of school has a lot more new beginnings than just the start of a new grade. For some, it’s the first day back in the building in over a year. For others, it’s starting as a Parker student. For us, it’s the start of our tenure as Editors-in-Chief and the first issue of “The Weekly.”
As the new Editors-in-Chief, it’s our job to be as transparent as possible with our readers, so we want to share our intentions for the year.
Our goal as journalists is to bring relevant stories to the Parker community, whether that be coverage of a Parker event or a Parker lens of a local or national issue. Since we are student-led, stories run by “The Parker Weekly” are not representative of Parker administration, students, and teachers. This year, we will be publishing with little to no prior review, which will help our reporting be as genuine and factual as possible.
In former Editor-In-Chief Avani Kalra’s last article for “The Weekly,” “Fix This,” she explains some of the forms of prior restraint that “The Weekly” faces. Over the past school year, the administration loosened its grip on “The Weekly” to prior review and then only review of topics covered in each issue.
With four new administrators this year, we’re excited to work with them in making “The Weekly” as independent as possible. We’ve sat down to talk with new Upper School Head Chris Arnold to talk about “The Weekly.” We hope to build trust with Mr. Arnold, who plans to not read our articles before publication, which is a big step for us as Editors-in-Chief. This issue of “The Weekly,” has only been read by members of the editorial board, copy editors, and our faculty advisors.
This separation from administration benefits the Parker community in two ways. First, the stories we write and content we produce can be published in a more timely manner. Our coverage can be available to the Parker community when the story is most relevant. Second, this further separates us from the opinions of the administration. When our writing is separate, we can be as transparent as possible, and the school is not responsible for any errors made.
Of course, “The Weekly” being independent of administration is a two way street. With less administrative oversight, we must be truthful and ethical reporters. As Editors-in-Chief, we are teaching our reporters journalistic skills and ethics that will make our reporting as unbiased and truthful as possible. We recently held Journalism 101, a mandatory two hour workshop where we taught reporting basics, interviewing, and journalistic writing. We will continue to hold sessions for our writers focusing on journalistic ethics, intersectionality in reporting, and more.
All we do for “The Weekly” is to make it the best publication it can be, and we can’t do it without your help. Thank you to all the faculty, staff, and parents who sit down for interviews with our reporters. Thank you to the students who spend their Thursday lunches attending pitch meetings and spend their breaks conducting interviews.
We want to see “The Weekly” grow this year, and we want our paper to be a welcome and necessary publication to our embryonic democracy. As a student, this means pointing out what you see happening in our community whether that be writing an entire article or just pitching the idea. As a Parker community member, this means telling us, the Editors-in-Chief, if there’s something you want to see changed, or if there’s an error. Our goal is to maintain “The Weekly” as a Parker tradition, and make our coverage serve the community.