Hatchet broadens coverage of District

If you picked up a recent copy of The GW Hatchet, chances are you might see some things you’ve never seen before.

And that’s just the way Hatchet Editor in Chief Jared Sher wants it.

The Hatchet has added some stylish sections this year, as well as more color and some pretty snazzy graphics.

“The new look of the Hatchet makes our readers want to pick it up and the new sections give them another reason to read it,” Sher said. “It has let everyone here try out some new things.”

The Hatchet has expanded its coverage of District news and politics with a new section, “D.C. News,” that appears every Thursday. Associate Editor Donna Brutkoski is in charge of the page.

“Sometimes people ask me why we cover D.C. news when The Washington Post already covers it,” Brutkoski said. “But not all students read The Post.”

Brutkoski said the purpose of the D.C. page is to focus on issues in the city as they relate to students, such as moves to cut federal student aid on Capitol Hill and efforts by the Advisory Neighborhood Commission in Foggy Bottom to oppose GW’s attempts to expand.

Also appearing on Thursdays is The Hatchet’s eye-catching new weekend section called the “GWeekend,” edited by Arts Editor Karen Ancillai and Features Editor Michelle Von Euw.

The new four-page pull-out section features spot color, restaurant reviews, concert and movie previews, area movie listings and even a new Hatchet rating system, with one Hatchet warning “Not worth skipping class for,” three Hatchets signifying “Al Gore” and five Hatchets representing “What are you waiting for?”

Von Euw said the GWeekend, which premiered Nov. 2, hopes to give students a “more useful section that provides a service instead of just a few entertaining stories.”

Reaction to the GWeekend has been positive, Ancillai said, and most students appreciate the early movie listings and information they might not get otherwise.

Recent GWeekend articles have included a guide to the District’s concert venues, a first-hand tour of area clubs and a new column called the “Bar Belle” that gives “a female perspective on bars in D.C. – but most are the ones people might not know about,” Von Euw said.

The spot color in the GWeekend also allows the rest of The Hatchet to use spot color in the Thursday issue, all of which has been coordinated by Visuals Editor Maher Jafari.

“We’re trying to develop everyone at The Hatchet, and the new sections give everyone’s job a new direction,” Sher said. “Donna gets to do some `real D.C. news,’ the business office gets to sell a new section and Karen and Michelle get to do more entertainment news like they’ll be doing once they get into the real world.”

After a tremendous turnout for The Hatchet’s new-writer open house, the paper was blessed at times with more writers than space for stories. This particularly affected the sports section, which used its new-found deep resources to its advantage.

“One of the biggest changes in the section this year has been the growth of the staff,” Sports Editor Jim Geraghty said. “Last year, the lack of writers limited what the sports editors could do with the section. This year, we’ve got at least 10 writers who really know how to write sports.”

In addition, the depth in the section has allowed it to pursue more breaking stories. The basketball preview section included two important stories readers could not find elsewhere.

“This year’s Hatchet basketball preview was one of the biggest and best ever,” Assistant Sports Editor Ben Osborne said. “It featured breaking stories on GW recruits Mia Chiparus and Shawnta Rogers that weren’t covered anywhere else.”

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