Letter from the editor: Changes made in response to feedback

Voices of Evergreen audience listened to, editing process being adjusted as a result of their suggestions



As the year continues, the responses of concerned Evergreen readers will be put to good use. The Opinion section continues to adjust.

KADE RUSSOM, Evergreen columnist

The progression of the world has always hinged on humanity’s greatest ability; to adapt to and overcome all challenges set before us.

There would be little warmth without the clothes that guard our hairless hides, no food for all without animal husbandry and farms and truly no other progression of our people without a willingness to change.

It’s an eclectic patchwork of these changes that make up our history, and for sheer size it’s easy to make the differences of today seem paltry and insignificant by comparison. Yet for every stitch in the lining, there were countless minute adjustments made to secure these bindings and improve our condition as a species.

Change is a strenuous process, regardless of form, and my transition from a writer to an editor of the Evergreen serves as only a snow globe sized example of it.

When this piece prints, it will have been a week since I wrote my introductory letter, a week since I first worked twelve hours in a day for the Evergreen and a week since I turned 19-years-old.

My coworkers will only learn of the last of those claims as this piece gets proofread. I neglected to mention it for its irrelevance, as no matter what else the day was, it was a work day. There was no gift or bit of well-wishing more precious to me than learning to do my job and do my job well. All so I could continue to do it with those at the Evergreen and for you as readers.

I spent the entirety of last Tuesday writing, editing and formatting so the paper could print with at least the same quality you had come to expect.

Despite the effort put in, even with all plans and forethought followed through on, I did not achieve this.

Every column that came in was edited thoroughly to fit the newsprint style and the print edition was uniform and filled out to standard. By technicality, I had fulfilled the requirements of my section.

But technical success is practically failure if it is only that.

The responses to the columns I edited were enough to know I wasn’t doing the Evergreen justice. As I looked at what I had published and compared it to what printed before, it became clear to me they weren’t near the same level of quality.

I stuck with what I knew as I edited, working the writing of my columnists to fit what worked within the rules of grammar and context. It was this close adherence which turned their writing into the pedantic, bland slogs of text published last week. For that, I am fully responsible.

I could write an apology here, gilded and gussied up as though every flowered word turned these words to truth, but I won’t. Words are weightless against an act.

I have changed my editing process, as the columns of this week and future editions will attest. While remaining faithful to grammar, there will be less regimental sentence structure, better phrasings and more trimming down of the wordy, stretched sentences I found throughout the printed work.

They may not seem like much, but these alterations will improve the section immensely. I would have been wholly unaware of these issues without the watchfulness of our audience, and for you who brought it to my attention, I’m thankful.

How Opinion operates will continue to adjust as more feedback comes in and I learn more of my position, and I’ll be looking into any other problems found in the section.

Even should the work required prove taxing, I’ll do my job with the greatest concern for our audience and the quality of writing they’ve come to expect.