After 26 Issues, CXLIV Bids Farewell to the Newsroom

​​This is the first issue of The Phillipian, vol. CXLV. Following The Phillipian’s board turnover last week, all previous Senior Editors, Managers, and Upper Management of vol. CXLIV have officially left the Newsroom. 

From digital PDFs to printed papers, Zoom meetings to the Newsroom, much of The Phillipian CXLIV’s tenure was defined by transitions from a remote to an in-person newspaper. Despite challenges presented throughout the 2021-2022 school year, CXLIV revamped The Phillipian’s weekly newsletter, reopened the Newsroom in the basement of Morse Hall, and began to print and distribute the paper again after a period of solely digital publication. 

Members of the CXLIV Upper Management expressed the need to keep the paper afloat during the transition from a remote to in-person school year. Former Editor in Chief Jay Aziabor ’22 detailed the difficult yet formative experience he had in transitioning the paper during Covid-19.

“I definitely think a whole board-wide initiative and goal was to get back to what The Phillipian has been in previous years in terms of publishing print content. That hasn’t always been easy at times, especially because I didn’t have too much experience with what The Phillipian looked like in the past. For instance, our return to the Newsroom rather than Zoom meetings—I think prior to me being Editor in Chief, I’d only been to the Newsroom twice, so I didn’t really know what that setting looked like and what the atmosphere looked like. It’s been a tremendous experience, bringing us back to in person meetings and actually print papers,” said Aziabor. 

Moving from a virtual setting to the physical Newsroom was a shift that Former Managing Editors Christine Michael ’22 and Jane Park ’22 noted to be an integral part of their experience leading The Phillipian. Michael and Park shared their thoughts on the energy of the Newsroom and detailed the sense of togetherness the space was able to foster amongst board members.

Michael said, “I think [my favorite moment was] just being in the Newsroom with everyone and feeling the community because a big part of Managing Editors’ role is helping with the community of the paper itself. So I feel [that] without the newsroom, it was a lot more difficult. I was so glad that once the newsroom opened, I was able to see people physically be with everyone. And as I said earlier, I’m proud of my board for just staying afloat during Covid-19.”

“[The Newsroom] was this really unique space in which we were all working for something that was a collaborative effort that wasn’t in the bounds of academic work or anything else. It was just a room full of really driven people having fun, working towards a common goal… there is so much creativity and collaboration in that room. There are so many people who are full of initiative and drive and really care about the work that they’re doing. That is always an amazing energy to be surrounded with,” said Park. 

Former Executive Digital Editor Kiera Suh ’22 hopes that members of CXLV will take advantage of the Newsroom setting and improve the overall quality of the paper’s written content.

“[CXLIV] was in a really unique position where we were coming off of Covid-19 and bringing the Newsroom back into a physical setting. Now that that physical setting is now reestablished, I’m hoping that [CXLV] can do a similar thing with our editorial content and just bring back this focus and emphasis on quality writing,” said Suh.

Former News Associate and current Editor in Chief Elyse Goncalves ’23 looks forward to ways to emphasize writing quality, as well as community connection, on The Phillipian. To do so, Goncalves hopes to focus on planning different ways to further incorporate the paper into the Andover community.

“One initiative that I want to look at is bringing The Phillipian into English and History courses on campus… asking teachers to incorporate articles from The Phillipian… into their teaching to connect students’ learning to Andover is very beneficial… I think [it’s] both a really good way to teach kids how to write analytically and write persuasively, but also to bring more attention to The Phillipian,” said Goncalves.

Managing Editor and former Arts Associate Dorian Park Wang ’23 echoed this sentiment, and said, “I think that especially since last year, we were like these past couple years because of Covid-19, The Phillipian‘s sort of main goal has been to stay afloat and to keep on running. And as such, it hasn’t had as much bandwidth to pursue new directions. So there’s new directions. I’m not sure what they will be yet, but those are definitely something that I’m interested in and would love to help explore.”

On the digital front, both former Graphic Associate and Managing Digital Editor Karen Wang ’23 as well as former Video Associate and Executive Digital Editor Mia Xiao ’23 hope to take more advantage of The Phillipian’s social media platforms. From her past experience on the paper, Wang has learned to progress her social media skills. For Xiao, the focus lies in making these posts a consistent part of The Phillipian.

“I think that as a Graphic Associate, I’ve been very well versed in creating Instagram posts or stories… I hope to use this experience I got from [the] Graphic [section] to be able to further pursue better social media.” said Wang.

Xiao added, “[I hope] to make social media content and newsletters to be a regular thing. We’re moving towards that, but I want to make sure it’s routinely incorporated into our every week operations at The Phillipian.”

Managing Editor and former News Associate Erin Kim ’23 plans to foster creative collaboration between the paper’s editorial and digital sections. Kim believes this will contribute to an overall connection of The Phillipian’s content. Kim also looks forward to shaping the Newsroom community and encouraging mentorship.

“I’m looking forward to encouraging cross-section collaboration, especially between editorial and digital sections to make the overall content of the paper more coherent and unified. Along with this teamwork, I’m hoping to foster  mentorship. Mentorship is an integral part of The Phillipian—it not only empowers younger members to grow and sustain the paper in the future but also encourages ourselves to keep learning and to further develop the paper,​” said Kim.

A goal emphasized by much of CXLIV and CXLV alike was defining equitable recruiting and increasing representation in all aspects of The Phillipian. Former Chief Financial Officer Celeste Robinson ’22 focused on reaching out to a diverse group of advertisers. She hopes her work will be continued by her successor, Isabella Alvarez Martinez ’23.

“One thing I hope specifically for Izzy, my successor, is [that] she’s able to continue our goal of intentional recruiting and diversifying our pool of advertisers. The Phillipian is an entity beyond any single board, and although we cannot erase its past mistakes, I hope she can lead us forward in healing,” wrote Robinson in an email to The Phillipian.

Robinson’s aspirations for the business section of the paper will be reflected by Alvarez Martinez. Inspired by her own identity, one of her goals is to acquire advertisements from Black and Latinx owned businesses.

“Something I wanted to do with this position was to reach out to Black-owned, Latinx-owned, businesses of color inquiring advertisements… It would be very important to me, especially as a Latina woman, in this finance section [that] is very white and male dominated,” said Alvarez Martinez.

Executive Editor and former Sports Associate Ethan Qi ’23 saw a need for mindful reporting regarding diverse groups. Qi emphasized the responsibility held by Upper Management of The Phillipian to recognize mistakes made by the paper.

“A lot of times, especially when you’re a writer and as you become an editor, you’re going to be covering a lot of articles that represent a lot of different groups. At times, you’re going to make mistakes. But [you need to learn] how to bounce back and reconcile with those mistakes moving forward,” said Qi.

Former Executive Editor Laura Ospina ’22 reiterated the accountability that the staff of The Phillipian possesses. For Ospina, this responsibility was a gratifying part of her tenure. 

“There’s a lot of responsibility on our shoulders to make sure we publish things that are helpful to the community, that aren’t offensive or derogatory or harmful to anyone, that we’re upholding standards of journalistic integrity. And that can be a little hard sometimes on high schoolers who are [still] figuring their way out, but ultimately, it’s been a really rewarding experience,” said Ospina.

Former Managing Digital Editor Melissa Damasceno ’22 offered a piece of advice to the new board of The Phillipian, encouraging the board to find a balance between innovating the paper and taking care of themselves.

“I think in the next month, I’m going to be spending a lot of time in the Newsroom, helping [CXLV] get the ropes… one thing I want to do in this mentorship is emphasize the fact that the paper is important and that the paper is going to be a priority for you; but that you also need to take care of yourself. I want to remind them that there are so many things you can pursue. You’re not restricted to this past historical precedent that the paper has to be a certain thing and be done in a certain way,” said Damasceno.