December Editor's Note

By Ronni H.
December 17, 2018

Some agreed, some did not. Nevertheless, conversation ensued.

Westridge Spyglass released our first official online issue on November 1, and we couldn’t be more encouraged by the responses we received - not because everyone agreed with what we wrote, but because of the conversations and feedback we are still receiving about our content. Our goal was to bring our community together through multimedia forums - words, videos, pictures, art - and to give everyone’s voice the opportunity to be heard, a persistent endeavor we continue to strive toward.

When we published our first online edition on November 1, I watched students reading the newspaper and watching the videos on their laptops at lunch, during break, and yes, in class (but don’t tell the teachers).  Many congratulated us on the overall look and scope of the edition. It was a collective accomplishment we were all proud of, but I felt slightly dismayed at the lack of conversation regarding the content of what we printed - that happened on day two.

“Conservatives Marginalized by Kavanaugh Hearing,” received a lot of feedback, positive and negative. That’s when I noticed that conversations regarding article topics spanned multiple lunch periods. Students willingly discussed current events and issues, and they debated each other’s individual beliefs and society’s responses during their free time. We like to think that Spyglass has played a part in sparking some of these discussions.  

We also hope that through the newspaper, students and staff can get to know each other better.  Hopefully students became more familiar with new staff members through the video introductions, the art team was able to exhibit their skills, and middle school got a taste of Upper School life.

This is what journalism is about: telling stories and spreading knowledge. But we still have a job to do. Trial and error have taught us that as a newspaper, we are never done, and that as journalists, we continue in the pursuit of truth.  It is a 24/7, lifelong endeavor. Thank you for sharing your concerns, your questions, your praise--and yes, your corrections and criticisms. Corrections have been made, and we have learned a great deal about hard work, how there are - what feels like - a million drafts to be completed before the final version that’s published. Empathy is key when telling stories, and it’s all worth it when the outcome is a community brought a little closer together.

I want to say that everyone on the Spyglass team is grateful for your support and your involvement. In fact, the Spyglass Staff or “Squad,” as it is unofficially known, includes a talented multimedia and design team, made up entirely of student volunteers.  Although they are not technically enrolled in the Spyglass elective, their dedication and efforts are indispensable to the paper’s success. We couldn’t do it without you. And frankly, we prefer to do it with you. That said, if you are interested in joining the staff, contributing an article, or sending in a letter to the editor, we wholeheartedly invite and encourage you to do so.  If you have any comments, questions, concerns, ideas, feedback or anything at all, please reach out. If you feel strongly about something we have published, positive or negative, please write a letter to the editor voicing your thoughts. We want to hear your voice and so does the rest of our Westridge community.