This is the first issue of The Phillipian, vol. CXLIII. Following The Phillipian’s board turnover last week, all previous senior Editors, Managers, and Upper Management of vol. CXLII have officially left the Newsroom.
During the tenure of vol. CXLII, the board established the new Live section, hosted the third interscholastic Blueprint Journalism Conference, published the first new students issue, established Digital Week, and updated the design of the website.
Former President Tessa Conrardy ’20 joined The Phillipian as an illustrator and fell in love with the paper and environment in the Newsroom. Despite the accomplishments of CXLII, Conrardy noted that there is always room for growth and improvement, particularly in terms of making the Newsroom more equitable.
“When we started our tenure, CXLI, the volume before mine, told us that the tradition is that once you feel that you’ve earned it, once you feel like you’ve made your mark as a volume of the paper, you get to paint your number onto The Phillipian seal in the Newsroom. So we’re CXLII, and we painted it [last Friday]. Because at every juncture, every time we had some big accomplishment, someone raised the question of, ‘Oh, should we paint the extra I?’ And we never felt as if we had done enough. We never felt like we were done,” said Conrardy.
Editor in Chief and former News Associate Zaina Qamar ’21 hopes to continue to emphasize the “Digital First” policy prioritized by the leadership of vol. CXLII, but wants to focus on improving the print paper itself. Qamar also emphasized the importance of diversity and inclusion on The Phillipian.
Qamar said, “I know that the past board really wanted to emphasize and pursue a digital presence for the paper, and we’re definitely looking to continue that work, but I know that our board also really wants to focus on the paper itself. And although, you know, we really embrace change and the future, we also just want to reflect on what makes us really special, and that’s the print paper. And [we’re] looking to really make it as mistake-free as possible. And we’re also looking to have more people of a variety of backgrounds try and contribute because the newspaper is only as good as the people that write in it.”
Samson Zhang ’20, former Executive Digital Editor, achieved both of his goals during his tenure: redesigning the website and starting Phillipian Live. Zhang looks forward to seeing how CXLIII will continue to improve the paper.
“What I’m most proud of is not the product, it’s the people. It’s that I’ll be able to step away, and I’m confident that if I just vanished, the show would go on. It’s in such an amazing place. The Associates, now Editors, and now one [Executive Digital Editor], are absolutely incredible. What they’ve done this past year, really they’ve built Live just as much, or I’d say even more, than I contributed to it,” said Zhang.
The masthead of vol. CXLIII’s Upper Management has slightly changed from last year, with the addition of a Managing Digital Editor, Stephanie Yang ’21, alongside Executive Digital Editor Shira Wolpowitz ’21.
Wolpowitz, a former Live Associate, hopes to incorporate digital elements into print sections to streamline the workflow of the paper.
“The biggest idea I wanted to implement was just to make the digital and print sections work together more because something that happens a lot that I’ve noticed [as] a Live Associate [is] that the print sections kind of work independently, and then the digital sections have to kind of chase after them…I just wanted to streamline it more,” said Wolpowitz.
Henrique Chamon ’21 replaced Aissata Bah ’20 as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Chamon seeks to promote inclusive attitudes through his tenure as CFO, incorporating equity into his business strategy.
Chamon said, “I was just excited to be able to have this position to have the opportunity to be [part of] such a high level of The Phillipian… It’s not just [to] make it more financially stable. [It’s] also [to] have it reach a broader audience, become more equitable for everyone so that everyone gets an equal opportunity to join and be a part of the paper and have their voice heard. Not just in the business section, but I want to try and see if I can work with other sections in making that possible.”
Andrew Cohen ’20, former Managing Editor, worked to reduce the feeling of hierarchy in the Newsroom to promote cross-section dialogue and communication with contributors to the paper. The Upper Management of CXLII established Writers Hour on Tuesdays, eradicating the old rule that writers were not allowed in the Newsroom.
Cohen said, “I think something that I really tried to do, specifically as a member of UM, was to try and make the Newsroom a more fun space, a more inclusive space, because I felt, at least when I was a younger student here, that The Phillipian was very hierarchical, and there’s a lot of separation between—and even I felt this as an Associate—Upper Management, Editors, Associates, and writers. So when I became a member of UM, at least in the Newsroom, I wanted to try and make it a more fun space and tried to just be friends with many people, both Editors and Associates.”
Cohen, who worked alongside former Managing Editor Junah Jang ’20, will pass the torch on to Managing Editors Megan Vaz ’21 and Emily Huang ’21. Jang reflected on the little moments and traditions that defined her experience with the Newsroom community.
“On Wednesday night, we do this thing called the cathartic scream, which is something that I started when I joined Upper Management. And, we turn off the lights at that time and I tell everyone to scream out all their frustrations on the count of three. And just having that moment of all the people who are left there, being there together and having that moment together is something that I think I’m really going to miss,” said Jang.
Vaz hopes to continue traditions started by vol. CXLII during her tenure while also promoting changes within Newsroom culture.
“Cohen always sat on this huge spinny chair in the Newsroom that leans back really far—we call in the Throne. And now I like to sit on it. Working with the last UM was really fun, but there’s a lot more we want to do moving forward… I think having me, a woman of color and underrepresented minority, as a Managing Editor can sort of help to shift our focus toward making the Newsroom a more accepting place where people can feel more comfortable,” said Vaz.
Former News Associate Zach Moynihan ’21 will succeed Alexandra LeBaron ’20 as Executive Editor. Moynihan hopes to channel LeBaron’s hard work and attitude as he assumes his position.
Moynihan said, “I got to know Alexandra in the News section when we were both writers, and I consistently looked up to her for her work ethic, as well as for her creativity… I saw that those same qualities came into play in her work as Executive Editor, so I’m looking to not only channel that same work ethic, but also to connect with the people in the Newsroom.”
LeBaron expressed her fondness for her journey with the paper and for the relationships she and other members of the CXLII board cultivated during their time in the Newsroom.
LeBaron said, “This is cliché, but I’ll miss the people a lot…it really has been my community on campus. And for the past year of my life, I’ve spent every single week night in there for at least two hours. So it takes up a ton of my time, and it really is my life here… It’s a very grounding thing for me and something that’s very consistent in my life. So I’ll definitely miss having that community and having this space to share with my fellow board members.”