Letter from the editor: Pulling back the curtain this semester

Not everyone understands nightly news production, but we’re giving you a peek



Making the paper known and understood is Emma Ledbetter’s job.

EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen news editor

Perhaps, as a reader of The Daily Evergreen, you’ve found yourself wondering what goes on behind the scenes of our newspaper.

Or, maybe, you pick up the paper or click on an article and aren’t sure which faceless name produced what you’re looking at.

Trust me, I was once in the same place. Before I started working at The Evergreen, my mom suggested I apply to be a proofreader. Unfortunately, that position was never offered to me, but I did later start reporting for Mint.

Turns out we don’t have “proofreaders.” They’re actually called “copy editors” and they’re wonderful for those of us who might miss errors in our pieces — which is to say, all of us.

My point is, the way The Evergreen operates is not necessarily obvious to our readers, as it wasn’t to me when I first started. If you aren’t in the newsroom with us each night, you don’t know how we get our story ideas, how we train reporters, or what criteria we edit for before publication.

We can easily begin to feel like just another anonymous news source that cranks out a paper each day.

My job this semester as social media and engagement editor is to make our publication more known to readers, both in terms of how many people see The Evergreen and how much our regular readers understand our processes and who we are.

Part of this involves promoting pieces to readers on our social media platforms, organizing open houses and engaging with readers online through comments and messages.

I also want to make sure The Evergreen produces stories that people are excited to read. Headlines that grab your attention and stories that are relevant to you are my focus. If you know of something happening in our community that others should know about, I ask that you submit a news tip so we can cover it.

Essentially, if there is something you want to see or know about us, I will do my best to make that happen.

As a student publication, our top priorities are accuracy and transparency. My hope is always that each of our readers will see the heart behind our pieces. We are, after all, students, who are trying to represent what’s going on at our university and in our region to the best of our ability.

If you think we can do better, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’ve been on both ends of the newspaper and I understand that our newsroom decisions don’t always make sense to readers.

We are nothing without our readers, and if we can do more to serve you, I’ve made it my job to make that happen.

Send me an email with tips or questions — or jokes, haikus or short stories — at [email protected]. I’m excited to engage with you this semester.