Call it The GW Hatchet “Working for Us.” Call it putting the “you” back in GWU. Call it compassionate journalism. Whatever you call it, we’re rolling out more changes based on reader feedback.
If you’re reading this on the Web, which our data indicates record numbers of you are, then you already know about one change. You can now see all headlines for the newspaper on our homepage without entering each individual section to see what’s inside. More news, features, sports and arts with less work. Let us know what you think by logging onto our online poll. While you’re on the Web, you should check out our new entertainment guide that gives you current reviews, movie listings for all D.C. theaters and easy access to reviews of bars and restaurants throughout the city.
We have also killed the “Nation in Brief” section in favor of content more applicable to students. You will now get weekly reports on what’s going on at other colleges around the country. If you want to find out what’s going on in the White House, I suggest picking up a free national newspaper in any of GW’s residence halls (tip: you get GWorld access to Fulbright during working hours).
Student journalists are not held accountable to their readers through voting like politicians. But we depend just as much on your trust to do our jobs and continue to represent the student voice better than anyone because we take feedback seriously. When a student finds confidential files in open trash, we follow up on it to find out what happens because it’s important to you. We interview Student Association candidates as a staff and endorse the candidate we think will serve students best because we want you to have good representation (vote results indicate that you listened).
And when you’re not happy with your student paper, we listen. Readers indicated last year that they were not happy with our arts section. And you’ve probably noticed a considerable change in the layout and writing from the past. You indicated that we covered the Student Association too much, so we’ve cut back to reporting only stories that could affect your lives. You told us that we needed more diverse sports coverage, and we delivered. Above all, you said you wanted more constancy in what time the paper comes out. So we changed our delivery route to get the paper to academic buildings quicker. Now, there are few days when you cannot get The Hatchet coming out of your 8 a.m. classes.
We’re not done. Like every year, we are bringing new leadership to The Hatchet. Next year’s leader is Kate Stepan, a veteran news editor. As she plans changes for the paper, she will rely on your feedback. The continued growth of online readers at GWHatchet.com, despite an annoying log-in process, is a positive development. The growing number of students providing helpful feedback to our student staff is even more reassuring. While The Hatchet doesn’t have a snazzy campaign slogan to offer, we do encourage readers to participate in the progress.
-The writer, a senior majoring in journalism, is Hatchet editor in chief.