A Letter from the Outgoing Editor-in-Chief

Carolina Carneiro '24, Editor in Chief

I started on The Dickinsonian as a first-year during Dickinson’s online Fall 2020 semester. I had minimal experience with journalism and stuck mainly to Student Spotlights in the Life & Style section for months, before gaining the courage to write my first news article. I became the editor for the Life & Style section that spring, and by the end of the semester I was asked to be co-Editor-in-Chief, along with fellow Delta Nu sister Amanda Wampler ’24.

Mirroring the current state of journalism around the world, The Dickinsonian struggled even prior to the coronavirus pandemic. From what I have been told, the editors spent hours in the office putting the paper together, most weeks until one or two in the morning. They had to write last-minute articles themselves in order to fill the blank spaces on the pages that belonged to articles that were never taken by other writers. When the issues came out, some people did read them, but at decreasing rates. When the pandemic hit, the paper nearly disappeared.

Amanda and I were tasked with the difficult mission to revive the paper. We were both first-years who had never experienced an in-person writers meeting, nor did we have any clue how to print issues. The people on the board who knew how to work with the software were either graduating or going abroad. I knew what it would take to learn how to do it, train the rest of the board, and convince them to stay at the office until two in the morning every week trying to put the paper together. Almost every staff member is either a current sophomore in the same position as I am or a first-year. Taking all of this into account, the only option was to keep the paper online for this academic year.

This isn’t how I imagined my time on the paper would go. In an ideal world, we would currently have print issues every week, a room full of writers ready to choose stories, and a loyal audience to take every last paper off our stacks. In the past, this has been the case, but it hasn’t happened in the last four years or so. 

Through a turbulent year of staffing issues, lack of writers and interest in the paper, more reliance on other forms of communication for news, and immense pressure to keep the paper alive, the board and I did our best to publish issues every 2 weeks or so. I relied heavily on the board, which is full of phenomenal individuals I had the pleasure of working with over the past year. Without them and our advisor Professor Worden, The Dickinsonian would have ceased to exist. 

I see my role this past year as supportive, sort of holding things together but not quite pushing through some of these major obstacles. However, our ability to have kept The Dickinsonian up and running is the most rewarding thing about my job. Thanks to our writers, the college and the community have a record and student opinions on some of the most important happenings on campus this past year, especially during a critical point in our history. I know that in the future, students will be able to access our articles through the college Archives and read about how things were like on campus during this time. I feel grateful to have played a role in it, however small.

Looking forward, I am hopeful that the incoming board can bring the paper back to life. I am so pleased that The Dickinsonian will be under the leadership of Nat McCloud ’23, who will be returning to campus after his year abroad at the University of Oxford. He has always been a strong voice for print issues, and I have no doubt that he is the person best fit to bring them back, if he chooses to do so. 

He will be joined by our incredible team of board members: Lauren David ’24, Max Shannon ’24, Sai Atluri ’24, Sammy Jo Barnes ’24, Tiara McKinney ’25, Ben Warren ’25, Walker Kmetz ’25, and Saurya Tuladhar ’24. I will spend my time focusing on other activities, which I haven’t been able to do this past year. Regardless of where I am, I will always be a supporter of the paper.

Thank you to everyone who has read the paper this year, we see you and we are so appreciative of the support. Please remember to continue to support the paper on campus! Follow us on Instagram (@thedickinsonian) to stay updated, come to writers meetings and get involved, and read the issues we publish on our website https://thedickinsonian.com

Lastly, if you have felt the absence of The Dickinsonian on campus these past few years, I urge you to get involved. All writers are welcome, regardless of how much journalism experience they have. The only way to push ourselves out of this phase of the paper is to have more writers ready to take on a challenge, as the board and I did this past year. 

All my best,

Caro Carneiro