News Staff Must Avoid Complacency

Harvard News 3/22/84–Editorial – NEWS STAFF MUST AVOID COMPLACENCY

By E. Randol Schoenberg, Editor-in-Chief

Three years ago, when I was in ninth grade, the school newspaper was called the Coldwater Pipeline. It was run by a small group of students, predominantly seniors, and came out every once in a while, if at all. The Harvard Community was used to their type of slow, sparse news coverage, and therefore expected nothing more.

But two juniors, Paul Golding (’82) and Kenny Lo (’82) who had been excluded from the Coldwater Pipeline editorial board, wanted more from a school newspaper. They began publishing, bi-weekly, the Harvard Bull. The Bull was a just a single sheet of paper with news and sports scores printed on both sides. The determination of Paul Golding and Kenny Lo undercut the Coldwater Pipeline by emphasizing the irresponsibility of the lazy newspaper staff.

When Mr. Lander became the new faculty adviser for the school paper, he met with the editors of the Pipeline and the Bull and decided to start from scratch with the energetic but inexperienced editors of the Bull. They organized writers, photographers, and typesetters from the whole upper school, chose a magazine format, and created (for lack of a better title) the Harvard News.

Today, three years after the creation of the Harvard News, the old staff prepares to hand the paper over to its fourth editor, Michael Kezirian (’85). The Harvard News has come a long way from a small (8.5” x 11”) eight page magazine. Trask Leonard (’83), the second editor, increased the size by adopting the present-day format. Production has also changed the “look” of the paper. This year, the typesetters abandoned the hyphenation programs of Kenny Hayes (’83) on a privileged account of the school computer for the versatility of Wordstar on the Kaypro. The use of the letter quality printer in the faculty lounge quickly helped increase the number of characters per line from 28 to 35, an increase in volume of 25%. Still, a greater number of articles and photographs required four 12-page issues and even one 16-page issue this year. Indeed, in quality and quality, the Harvard News has experienced continuous improvement since its first issue three years ago.

It is important, however, that the trend of improvement be continued. The news staff cannot become complacent, or it risks becoming another Coldwater Pipeline.

The student body and faculty must continue to demand reliability from the newspaper, and not take it for granted. Already, over half of the Harvard Community has known nothing but the Harvard News. In two years, the editors of the school paper will likely never have read a long-awaited copy of the Coldwater Pipeline. It is important that the newspaper never forget what started the Harvard News or this paper will suffer the same fate as its predecessor. Paul Golding and Kenny Lo had a dream. They dreamt of a reliable, quality newspaper and set out to make one. This year’s staff has tried to continue the quest or excellence. The goal has always been in sight, yet it is not to be attained. Future newspaper staffs would do good to remember the example set by Golding and Lo and maintain the high level of commitment to Harvard School that the Harvard News represents.