Letter from the Editor: Return to the Print

Pausing print production of The Dickinsonian was necessary–at first, in March 2020, no one was allowed on campus to even undertake the task (much to the chagrin of the then-Editor-in-Chief), and later, when we had a brief return to print in spring of 2021, we were printing to an audience of nearly zero. With so few faculty and students on campus, it was a waste of paper, student energy, and college money to print the physical issues, especially when our digital presence is fairly well-established. 

This intermission in print has meant we have lost much of the transfer of skills and knowledge that would usually occur year to year. I’m the only person on the staff that was involved with a normal print edition–8 pages, weekly–so we are cut out for a challenge in getting a print edition off the ground. Sustaining the level of content needed to put together a print edition is incredibly difficult–it takes the focus and dedication of many writers, a team of editors, and the support of an advisor and many people on campus to make the publication feasible. 

It’s important to meet that challenge, though, because the physical presence of the paper on campus makes a huge difference to the rewards of doing campus journalism. Seeing people read the stories and having copies that students can stumble into and that people can be reminded of news even when they don’t seek it out. Print copies help to secure the legacy of The Dickinsonian by making students crave answers for questions on student issues. 

Those challenges in production and the value of a paper are what make the assembly of this issue a huge triumph for the paper. It’s a testament to the value of a public forum for students that people have an interest in reviving the paper, putting in the hours of work to make this edition a reality. 

The Dickinsonian is one of the most historic parts of Dickinson’s campus–this year is the paper’s 150th anniversary–and the return to print this semester is a connection to the past and future of the campus, to all the students that have helped to sustain this organization and made it a feature of student life. We are fortunate to have a student body that is still committed to that work and dedicated to bringing it back to print so that the tradition continues.