Hatchet editorial board causes a stir in newsroom

On production nights before The Hatchet goes to print, the editorial board holes itself up in the editor in chief’s office behind a locked door for about an hour.

Sounds ranging from shouting to laughter emit mysteriously from the room. When the bedraggled group emerges from the room, the two staff editorials bearing the consensus of opinion is in place for the upcoming issue. The staff editorials have been known to question University individuals, challenge policies and incite protest. But exactly who comprises the editorial board that creates these sometimes controversial pieces?

One member is Elissa Leibowitz, editor in chief of The GW Hatchet. A senior hailing from North Wales, Pa., Leibowitz is majoring in journalism. After her graduation in May, she hopes to secure an internship at a newspaper or newswire service, ideally in Spain. Tracy Sisser and Andrew Tarnoff are two other members of the board of directors, besides Leibowitz, who is president. Sisser, the paper’s managing editor, is from nearby Bethesda, Md. She is a junior majoring in political communication. In addition to her studies, she holds two internships at the Student Press Law Center and the Copley News Service.

Tarnoff, the associate editor, resides in Baltimore. A junior majoring in international affairs, he is interested in working in the field of public relations.

The Hatchet’s three news editors also grace the editorial board. Michelle Von Euw, a junior, also majors in political communications. She said the most frustrating part of her job is hearing people criticize the newspaper for getting the facts wrong.

Douglas Parker, a sophomore, is studying English and hopes to spend next year in Greece learning the language. He sees the editorial meetings as “a chance to analyze the news instead of just reading it.” Donna Brutkoski, also a sophomore, concentrates on journalism at GW. She says her most memorable assignment was covering Marion Barry’s headquarters the night of the democratic primaries.

“Everything I read about him in the papers was so bad, but when I got there, the people just worshipped him,” she recalled. As a result, she tries to avoid making assumptions in her writing.

Sophomores Kynan Kelly and Jared Sher comprise the sports desk. Kelly, the sports editor, is a journalism major, while Sher, the assistant sports editor, is studying political communications. Kelly is from Durango, Co. Sher just moved from Miami, Fla., to Alexandria, Va., but hopes to spend this summer in Washington working at a journalism internship.

Features Editor Erin McLaughlin and Arts Editor David Larimer also give their opinions to the page. McLaughlin is a journalism major from Plymouth, Mass.

Larimer is an English major from Billings, Mont., and is possibly interested in a journalistic career in the future. He says that the best part of his job is that “twice a week I can look at the paper and say `I did that’.”

The photography staff represents the remainder of the editorial board members. Abdul El-Tayef is the editor. He was born in Lebanon but now lives in Vienna, Va., and is studying biology

. Freshman and Assistant Photo Editor Tyson Trish hails from California. Fellow freshman and Assistant Photo Editor Claire Duggan is from Ridgewood, N.J.., and is looking to make photography her major.

Like Brutkoski, she names the Marion Barry coverage as her favorite assignment. She recalls, “I got to meet a lot of interesting photographers who gave me a lot of good tips about getting into the field.”

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