From the Forum to the Yale Daily News: An Alumni’s Transition to a College Newspaper

Alice Bolandhemat On the best two days of the month, when a new edition of The Forum is released, Latin students are able to read news, editorials, columns, etc. Other than articles about current world news, most pertain to issues or events surrounding Latin. Latin has around 1,000 students in fourteen grades, which is very small compared to other schools in the Chicagoland area. The issues discussed in our school newspaper largely affect our students, faculty, parents, and alumni, but on a larger scaler, are microscopic. Johnny Gross, a member of the class of 2017, is currently a contributing reporter for the Yale Daily News. The Yale Daily News (YDN) is one of the nation’s oldest college newspapers and is widely read. The university has around 5,500 undergraduates, which is over five times the number of JK-12 th grade students at Latin. Johnny has currently written five articles for the paper, all of which cover the current news of New Haven. “Similar to The Forum, the YDN publishes pieces about news, culture, sports, politics etc. Articles can voice a student’s opinion or simply inform the community of what is happening on or around campus,” said Gross. Johnny was a co-editor- in-chief of The Forum throughout the 2016-2017 school year. He has experienced firsthand what it is like to put an online newspaper out every month; however,  the YDN is published six days a week, every week of the school year. The staff of Yale’s newspaper is larger than that of The Forum by a sizable factor. “Something I love about the YDN is that we print our issues almost daily,” explained Johnny, “at Latin, printing doesn’t entirely make sense because it is not eco friendly or cost efficient.” Additionally, if The Forum were published six days a week, each issue would be rather bare. “Commitment is a huge part of being on the staff of a well-known newspaper. You have to write a bunch and spend hours on end trying to retrieve quotes and information,” explained Johnny. One of the requirements for writing an article at Yale is that you must acquire a minimum of three different sources. This ensures that more than one perspective is told through each quote. “Although it is sometimes difficult to communicate with at least three sources in the timeline we are given for each article, the three quote standard adds depth to each article. Many of the articles in the YDN are mainly quotes.” Interestingly, the Yale Daily News is that it is not funded by the university. “Because it is an independent newspaper, each reporter is free to voice their opinion. On occasion, articles that the university president wouldn’t necessarily endorse are published. I think that’s very unique,” Johnny noted, “Because of its independence, Yale’s newspaper has a very limited amount of censorship.” Latin’s newspaper does receive its funds from the school. Our content has to be deemed appropriate by the administration. Latin is a close-knit community, and what you write is read by people you converse with daily. On a college campus, your audience might not even know you well enough to associate your byline with your face. Therefore, the fear of being reprimanded is minimized. High school and college are two very different environments, thus their having two very different styles of journalism makes sense. “The Forum has a need for editorials, because most news events are known to the whole community at Latin. In college, because it is so much larger, news articles are incredibly important. They notify people on campus of major events and issues,” said Johnny. The Forum caters to a relatively small amount of people, whereas a paper like the Yale Daily News puts out more articles to be read by many more people. “While The Forum is a significantly smaller paper, it serves a similar purpose. Writing for The Forum definitely prepared me for writing for the Yale Daily News. I have to write a lot more now, but I did not have to start completely fresh; the basics of journalism I learned while writing/editing for The Forum have stuck with me throughout my beginning with the Yale Daily News,” concluded Gross. ]]>