Editors’ Note: What have we done?


by Prameela Kottapalli and Katherine Zhang

Another month gone by, another reporter materializing in front of your eyes to hand you a copy of the Winged Post. You take it (of course) and scan the front page — but wait. Where is the green “Winged Post” splayed horizontally across the top of the front page? What happened to the page numbers? And the page size? What about the SIZE?

Let’s pause for a second. No, the world hasn’t turned upside down, and yes, we will explain.

Every tiny modification, from the spacing between our lines to the opacity of our grey boxes, was mulled over, painstakingly decided by a team of staff designers and editors. Just like the strategic leaders who came before us, we’ve come to understand the importance of change and the weight that each seemingly-minor detail carries. And so, after a month-and-a-half of a fairly intensive redesign process, we present you, our readers, with Issue 3 of the Winged Post.

Okay, so what exactly did we change?

Our newspaper is no longer the size of a small freshman, for starters. We’ve completely restructured our paper — with a smaller format comes fewer columns, different fonts in our style repertoire and less text per page. Our front page looks different, and so do the fifteen pages that follow: our paper now features more immersive graphics and full-page stories.

No, the world hasn’t turned upside down, and yes, we will explain.

There’s a method behind this madness, though. As student-journalists, we understand that it’s our duty to serve and represent our school community as best we can– and this reformatting helps us do just that.

Not only do we want to acknowledge the members of our community who have shorter arms and thus may have found the broadsheet format a bit troublesome, but we also wanted to give you stories that go more in-depth into issues that you care about. In this issue of the paper, for instance, we’ve devoted a page to telling the story of one of our teachers’ family’s struggles with immigration. We’ve dedicated a special section to discussing both the midterm elections and the stories of first-time student voters. 

So yes, the format in which we’re telling stories has changed. But our content redesign is far from over. Within the next two months, we’ll be inviting focus groups– consisting of you, our readers– into the journalism room for feedback, input and discussions about our coverage. We hope to use your insights both to better represent Harker and to improve the overall reading experience of our paper. Just as every source matters in the stories we publish, every voice in our community matters, and we hope to ensure that all voices are heard through the implementation of focus groups.

This issue is merely the structural starting point that sets us on the course of a broader, more community-based redesign in the coming months. With only four issues left, we know there’s still a lot to do, but we also know that it’s about time.

We’d like to end by reaffirming that change is, by no means, a one-time thing. The Winged Post is vastly different from what it was fifteen years ago (insert joke here), and it will continue to evolve to reflect the time and the people in our community long after this year ends. But for now, we can’t wait to hear from you. As always, whether it’s about content, design, writing a guest column or being part of a focus group, feel free to reach out to us by email at [email protected] or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter at @harkeraquila.

This piece was originally published in the pages of The Winged Post on December 6, 2018.