Earlier this semester, voice conducted an informal survey to get some feedback on how our paper was being received. Although the number of participants was small, we at voice got some valuable insight into how the college newspaper is seen on campus.
We were called uninteresting, “weird” and “not really relevant.” We were chastised both for being “written like an opinion,” “a collection of editorials,” and for not publishing more radical opinions or promoting activism. Though some criticized our “self aggrandizing articles on Scripps,” there were also those who said they read voice for its relevance to Scripps. For some, it’s the only news publication they read. And, amid all of the criticism, there were glimmers of praise: “thanks for all of your hard work,” “voice is a good thing to pick up randomly and read,” and “I feel like [voice] is pertinent to me and my life in ways [other 5C news publications] are not.”
Responses were mixed, but we’re working to address as many of the complaints as we can. Though a majority of our changes will be implemented next year, with a new layout and more “news-y” look to the paper, we have been making efforts to respond to reader requests in our past few issues. We have, for instance, taken readers’ suggestions to run a few fashion articles. (A response to which can be found in this issue’s Letter to the Editors. We are making an effort to choose articles that our readers will find relevant and interesting, and have developed more intimate correspondences with our writers to keep them abreast of the publication process. We want to deliver a quality publication to all our wonderful readers, one that can be a source of pride for the entire Scripps community.
And deliver that paper we do. Since the 2009-2010 academic year, voice has been delivered to Scripps students’ doorsteps by our hardworking editorial staff. Though 48 out of 69 people who responded to the survey’s question on our door-to-door distribution of the paper said they appreciated the service, there have also been several complaints about the waste of paper and the fact that students leave their copies of voice in the halls for our housekeeping staff to throw out.
We at voice thank those who responded to our survey, and encourage students to engage with and contribute to discussion about the Scripps community—whether that be through the using the comments sections on our articles, writing letters to us, giving us story ideas or by submitting articles and photos.
As always, voice cannot publish a full issue without the support of the community, and we welcome further conversations on our website as well as more constructive suggestions.
In honor of our passionately anti-paper readers, and in acknowledgment of Earth Day on April 22, voice is trying something new. This issue is going green. That means no 12-page newsprint doormat, no bench-warming newsroom stack and—most importantly—no voices being disposed of, unread.
In our Feb. 12, 2010 issue, voice columnist Allie Lockwood voiced her opinion that, in this modern age, our articles should switch from paper and publish online (Scripps College Online). Well, Ms. Lockwood, you’ve got your wish.
Tori Mirsadjadi and Vritti Goel