Everything begins anew in February at Stuyvesant. We have just returned from our Finals Week to new schedules, new teachers and a new term. Similarly, at The Spectator, we have returned from the fall semester with a new editorial board, and would like to take this opportunity to familiarize you with our goals and visions for the paper’s future.
We would like to assert to our readers that first and foremost, The Spectator and the new editorial board stand for professionalism. We take our role as the “pulse of the student body” very seriously, and want to make sure that we serve both the student body and the school as a whole. We familiarize all new members of the paper with our charter and our Stuyle Guide, which dictate the rules and guidelines that The Spectator follows, from privacy regulations to how to cite a quote. The Spectator is a school newspaper, but we strive to be more than that. We’re not playing journalistic make-believe, but rather, feel strongly that we can make an impact on the way our school is viewed, how it is run and the overall student experience. Because we want to be treated as a real newspaper, we understand that we must conduct ourselves as such.
First, we will endeavor to gather information as accurately and respectfully as possible. The success of our newspaper depends on both the students and faculty, and it is necessary that we earn and keep their trust. It has long been a standard practice of ours to respect all anonymity, and to not disclose any information that interviewees give us in confidence. In order to further prevent misquoting, and to avoid any discrepancies that may arise about what is said in interviews, we are working to equip all members of our staff with voice recorders for interviewing, which will be used if the subject permits. In addition to gathering accurate information, we place high importance on conducting interviews in a respectful manner, and will be reviewing our Spectator interview guide with new writers. Furthermore, we plan to post the guide on our Web site so that faculty and students can familiarize themselves with our procedures, and contact us if they feel that protocol is violated by our writers.
As the new editorial board, we acknowledge that we have had our share of errors over the past year. We own up to our mistakes, and have learned from them. This year, we will work to make stricter deadlines for our writers so that production is less hurried, hopefully with the result of a more error-free newspaper.
As technology becomes more advanced and news is becoming increasingly web-based, we will continue expanding The Spectator Web site by adding various new features. We will be posting a calendar of upcoming events, more comprehensive than the one we have in each issue of The Spectator, to help keep the Stuyvesant community better informed about the goings-on in and around the school. The Web Department has also decided to run a podcast, which will discuss different aspects of the school and the student body from the view of our editors and some staff members. We will also be putting up other videos, photos and recordings on the Web site as alternative mediums of journalism
As students, we are just as in touch and involved with the organizations we report on as any of our readers. All staff members, regardless of their positions in the paper, are members of the student body on which they report, and take equal parts in the activities, such as SING! or the Student Union, that make up the extracurricular culture of Stuyvesant. However, we have a primary journalistic responsibility to provide the student body with reporting that is as unbiased as possible. To fulfill this obligation, we must write and comment on our subject matter from a removed standpoint. Our main commitment is to uphold the high, traditional, journalistic standards of the paper, and we will continue to strive for reporting with impartiality and informed detachment, save for our editorials and reviews.
As any new editorial board, we owe a tremendous debt to the editors who came before us. Their work in maintaining and improving the quality of the paper was prodigious, and their success has paved the way for more substantive and accurate reporting. We thank the outgoing editors for all their hard work, and resolve to continue the practices of responsible journalism that have, under their stewardship, become synonymous with The Spectator. We look forward to both continuing in their footsteps and forging our own path as we work, as always, toward a more perfect paper.