In June, we stood in the middle of Weiler 106, face-masked, sweaty and surrounded by towering stacks of Chronicles. Halfway through packaging the 1,600 newspapers that would be mailed to every family at the school, we paused to check the string of COVID-19 notifications on our phones. As the newspaper ink bled into the creases of our palms, we realized that the carefully constructed world we had built for ourselves was deteriorating. Laying out our final issue of Volume 29 over Zoom was only the beginning of a series of substantial changes that The Chronicle would have to undergo.
Like the rest of the publications world, we are now writing articles and laying out pages for our first issue of Volume 30 completely virtually, but our ability to do this comes with the recognition that we are extremely privileged. With the support of the school, we have been given free access to the Adobe Creative Cloud on our personal computers and can meet at will over Zoom.
The coronavirus has revealed the inequities rampant within our educational system on both socio-economic and racial levels. Six months ago, we never expected to be in the midst of a vortex of change: a racial reckoning, a global pandemic and a historic election cycle.
This year at The Chronicle, we will continue to uplift the truth and to report unbiased news representing all students’ perspectives. We are now developing a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) task force to amplify underrepresented voices on campus and give Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) students a platform to share their stories. We realize our staff does not fully reflect the racial and ethnic demographics of our school nor all students’ viewpoints. In order to become a fully inclusive organization, we encourage students to submit Letters to the Editors and guest editorials, which will be published for the community online and in print.
Internally, we will work to improve our staff’s ability to report on nuanced and sensitive subjects and assess our performance as allies within the community. To do so, we will study the historical and current realities of diversity, equity and inclusion within the greater journalistic community and engage in conversations about ethics and diversity in our newsroom.
Additionally, we are revamping our Community News section in order to expand our coverage of the greater Studio City area. Though we often exist solely in the microcosm of our school, or now, our homes, we recognize the importance of expanding our viewpoints through our reporting. In the wake of the pandemic, we are also increasing our online presence by further integrating broadcast into our identity and widening our engagement through ChronUp, our monthly newsletter, and through social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube.
This year, although our staff may be slightly smaller in number, we are equally fierce and determined. As we embark on our 30th anniversary, we promise not to hide behind our laptop screens. We will keep our Zoom cameras on, seek the truth and demonstrate our unwavering commitment to you.