Letter From the Editors: Our Paper’s Present as a True Newspaper

The following article aims to address several points that The Editorial Board feels were excluded in the recently published “Letter to the Editors: Our Paper’s Past as a True Forum.”  

In our eyes, The Forum, while no longer printed on “genuine newsprint paper” due to environmental concerns, remains a dignified publication and demonstrates just how powerful a student-run paper can be.

Most, including the writers of the piece, agree that we are living in a very different time than the 1970s. As the world evolves, we must evolve with it. As Latin progresses, we must progress with it. As the practice of journalism transforms, The Forum must transform as well. While The Forum in 2020 is undoubtedly different from The Forum fifty years ago (which, we believe, is for the best), in this past year alone, we have crossed major milestones and published pieces that alter the conversations around our school.

From students who dared to share their own stories:

“To Be Me”
“Dear Anorexia”
“Selling Myself Short”
“Actually Yes, Everything Is About my Hair”
“My Summer Home”

To the students who push our community to take an introspective look at our core ideologies and behaviors:

“Air Guitar Performance Raises Concerns About Community Time”
“Is Everyone at Latin a Winner?”
“Student Government’s Imbalanced Gender Ratio”

Ironically, in the same issue as this letter, we published Censorship in Our Peer Newspapers, which elicited a great deal of attention from several other schools, was referenced in an email to the Francis Parker community, and inspired a direct email from their Head of School.

With that said, we do know that there is always room for improvement: increased readership, more compelling article ideas, and better coverage of important events are all areas that come to mind. Every day, The Forum strives to write better, work harder, and think more critically. We do recognize that the more “controversial” articles mentioned in Hannah and Isabel’s piece often receive the most readership, and for good reason.

We invite and encourage every student with an opinion and an urge to share it to write for The Forum. We will do our best to cover more of these controversies (unless, of course, you are interested in reading about political controversies, then please visit Latin’s political magazine Discourses). That being said, we have no plans to sacrifice our journalistic integrity. We ask that each piece recognize multiple perspectives (i.e. opinions other than your own) and offer some sort of insight to the Latin community. If The Forum only offered opinions and commentary, we could not maintain our legitimacy. While, as editors of this paper, we may be slightly biased, we do not underestimate nor dismiss the quality of journalism that a high school newspaper can achieve. Not being a national newspaper should not prohibit our writers from learning how to practice good journalism and deliver unbiased national news. 

In addition to serving the Latin community, The Forum serves the world of journalism. It is crucial to acknowledge that not all interviews with editors were included in this Letter to the Editors, likely because some viewpoints expressed did not agree with the writers’ agenda. To us, it is of the utmost importance that The Forum represent all sides of an issue; our purpose is not to attack but to inform. We strongly believe this is the best approach to combating the societal polarization that confronts our community and nation. By presenting all sides of issues, we hope to create at least a small reprieve from the polarizing news sources that people find themselves surrounded by today.  

Lastly, to every writer and editor who spends days conducting interviews and piecing quotes together: an article does not have to be deemed controversial to be brave, inspiring, and worthy of readership. We are not—nor do we want to be—sensationalists, and, sometimes, pure news does more for a community than pure criticism. Thank you for your tireless efforts. They do not go unnoticed. 

Respectfully,

The Forum Editorial Board