The Dickinsonian Lives On

Through the last nine months, I’ve served as Editor-In-Chief of The Dickinsonian as we’ve relaunched the print edition and restarted the tradition of student journalism on campus. During the pandemic, it was much more difficult to cover and spread the news because it’s hard to put the website in front of people. If people don’t know of the site, they can’t go to it. And even if they do know about it, who’s to say they’ll visit it?

It’s been a journey in restarting the print editions — the highs and lows have been dramatic. (I’ve lost years of my life for sure.) Everything is so much more intense when you put a print edition out; assembling a print copy means making more choices about layout and presentation so there is more work involved. We’ve been in the office past midnight and had more issues with inDesign than I can count.

But, beyond that, there’s something about a print edition that makes the stories feel so much more definite, the attention much more concrete. Reactions to the print edition are always more severe, even when they are positive. While things on the internet may last forever, they seem more distant. When people engage with a physical paper, they are energized by the stories and the content, and this means that when we publish a print edition we are in for a trip.

We’ve made more than our fair share of mistakes this year, and I’m responsible for quite a few. Coming into this project, I knew there would be growing pains. It has been part of the process of relearning how to produce a copy of The Dickinsonian. We’ve made major mistakes (errors in bylines) and minor mistakes (oh-so-many misspelled words). However, through those mistakes, every staff member of The Dickinsonian has learned the pain of failure, and the importance of commitment to high standards. 

I’m immensely proud of the work we’ve done to keep this paper running into its 150th year and I’m appreciative of the commitment that so many students have made to sustaining its work. People who had never before worked on a paper or even heard of The Dickinsonian have thrown themselves into the project of reporting on campus events, and have held themselves to a high bar. Dickinson could not ask for a better group of students to inherit the paper.

As I leave The Dickinsonian, I’ll remember much of the work we’ve done across my four years, but none of the other years will make me as proud as the people this year, who have strived to make our campus better by providing quality reporting and campus conversations. With Walker Kmetz ’25 and Lauren David ’24 at the helm next year, the paper will surely succeed.

The passion and ability of the people in this paper makes me positive about the future of The Dickinsonian, and I feel so fortunate to have played a part in sustaining this tradition on campus.