Last Wednesday, a student came to our office to voice his concerns with The Lawrentian. We believe his concerns are valid and shared by other Lawrence community members, and would like to respond publicly.This student talked about how The Lawrentian needs to print information and articles interesting to our readership. He provided an example of an article about renovations to campus (“Renovations across campus bring a contemporary look to Lawrence”, Oct. 5, 2001) saying that everyone knew about the changes and that they weren’t that exciting and, thus, not newsworthy.
While we realize that renovations to the campus might not be the most exciting news to read about, it is still news worth reporting. The piece discussed the cost of these renovations as well as plans for the near future, including the construction of a new dorm and campus center. Events like these, that directly affect all Lawrence students, need to be covered, and to not report them would be a fault on our part.
We have editorial board meetings on Sunday nights and would always be happy to know if there are stories that we have missed. We are only eleven strong, and simply cannot be aware of everything that happens on campus. Anytime there is a story worth reporting, you are encouraged to e-mail us your newstips and story ideas at Tips@Lawrentian.com.
Some of the problems we encounter when trying to cover the events on campus stem from our writers. They are students first and cannot always put aside their exams and papers to write for us. Often we get calls Wednesday night from writers apologizing when they realize they didn’t have enough time to research and write a well-balanced article. By Wednesday—merely hours before our deadline—it is too late to assign the piece to another writer. In these cases, the article either has to be moved back or discarded because it is no longer timely or relevant.
Another criticism this student made was citing the quantity of copy-editing errors we make. There are certainly mistakes that are printed which we would have liked our writers and copy staff to catch. Ideally, there would be no mistakes. Our extremely outdated computers and their contstant crashing, made apparent the limited amount of time in a single night. Copy-editing and layout lasted throughout the night and into the following afternoon. These commonplace examples of extraordinary effort from an exhausted staff also explain how some errors could easily escape their eyes.
This last week, with the help of Dean Rosenberg, we were able to produce the paper on two new computers, doubling our previous total. For the first time we had no crashes, which saved large amounts of time. Although the staff was still up for most of the night, the opportunity for more people to work at once immediately, and visibly improved the paper.
Copy-editing errors are embarrassing and we are trying our best to avoid as many as possible. Anyone who is good at finding errors is welcome to join our Thursday morning copy-editing staff. Call Ray at x7868 to make specific arrangements.
We are a paper for Lawrence, and strive always to improve so that we may better serve our campus. If you have complaints about the paper, let us know, or feel free to voice your concerns on our Op/Ed page. Any contributions or questions can be directed to Lawrentian@lawrence.edu.