The beginning of the school year means a lot of things. But it excites me primarily because it represents an opportunity to start fresh. The summer allows us time to relax and reflect on our past performances, to refocus and set our sights even higher for the future. In the same way that this excites me as a student, it also excites me as editor of The Scroll.
Over the summer, I had the opportunity to attend the Columbia Summer Journalism Program with Op/Ed Editor Garam Noh, and Associate Editor Bella Hutchins. There, we received a critique of The Scroll from experienced journalists and discussed potential areas of improvement. Additionally, we broke out into smaller classes and shared article ideas, design tips and experiences in ethical and organizational challenges with other student journalists and high school teachers.
The program made me reconsider many aspects of The Scroll. Looking back at last year’s May’s issue, I can see that the paper was predominantly text. Although I fully stand by the articles we published, the sheer amount of text and the density of the paper were overwhelming. Ultimately, who cares if you have three articles per page when the grand majority of the readership is scared away by the paper’s layout and presentation?
Going forward, I want to embrace the use of quick-glance graphics, intriguing photos and innovative layouts. I was formerly adamant in my belief that such graphics take away from the paper’s merit. But, when I mentioned this to one of the instructors at Columbia, he asked me what a newspaper’s mission is. I answered that a paper serves to collect information and make sense of it, to pick through fact and fiction, to communicate the truth. If a diagram or creative design helps us to achieve those goals, then why stray away?
Continuing with the theme of starting anew, I am proud to reveal The Scroll’s new logo to all of you for the first time. We have taken the opportunity to distinguish ourselves and create something special. The new seal includes an illustration of the MSB, a symbol of the school’s heritage. Hopefully, this new visual identity for The Scroll will endure for decades to come.
Finally, I would like to extend my welcome to all of the new members of the Deerfield community and say hello again to all of those returning. Here’s to starting fresh.