End of a staff, end of era

Editorial

One day we’re walking onto campus for the first time, nervous, but excited to see what the next four years have in store. The next we’re walking across the stage and into the next phase of our lives. As the class of 2020 waits for graduation, we ponder our legacy, and as an editorial board, we reflect on our past year on the KO News. We are incredibly proud of the progress we have made and excited for the future of the paper.

Over our time on the KO News, we have made strides to move the news into a more inclusive and innovative direction. Most notably, we instated the Reviews section, organized a community event, and added an online version of the newspaper. It has been incredibly important for our staff to create an environment that fosters students’ creativity and interest in journalism, while also moving the paper as a whole in new directions.

Our main goal has been to avoid stagnation, and through these efforts we hope that we will leave a legacy for the paper. As fake news and biased journalism grow in popularity, honest journalism is crucial. We want to combat this both on large and small scales, starting with our own campus.

The KO News vs. SGA basketball game was one way we tried to build excitement for the KO News. Many students attended, and this excitement for the news carried on throughout the year. A volleyball game is currently being planned for the spring.

Additionally, we wanted to create excitement about news in the community. Journalism is one of the most important freedoms we have in our democracy, and it is important that we value it. It has allowed us to discuss mammoth issues within our own community, and we have been able to start dialogues with the administration at KO regarding different aspects that we can improve upon.

Most notably, we wrote an editorial at the start of the year that detailed our views on the unclear nature of the harassment policy in the student handbook. Since then Mr. Gilyard, Dr. Gleason, and Mr. Dillow have made significant changes and improvements that clarify the consequences of harassment and have added to preventative measures. This is one instance of us using our voices to address “an elephant in the room” that many people don’t want to talk about.

Adding an online version of the news was also a major step we made in efforts to keep the KO News as current as possible. The website Alma Clark created allows easier access to our newspaper for alums, prospective students, and parents. Through our web staff, we have featured online exclusive articles and other content that would not have been possible if not for this platform.

As many of us are now leaving, we hope to leave the KO News in a position to continue this progress. With the support of the staff, Sloan Duvall ’21 was able to create the speaKOut column to focus on the experiences underrepresented members of the community go through. Sloan hopes that this can increase discussions about diversity and inclusion.

We are excited to see what the new staff will bring. We cannot fully express our gratitude towards the KO News for fostering our visions and supporting our journalistic efforts both in and out of the KO community.