Section: Letter to the Editor

Staff editorial: In challenging times, the Collegian vows to hold our leaders accountable

Dear Kenyon community,

The Collegian executive staff welcomes you to Volume 148’s first issue of the 2020-2021 academic year. While this will be a strange semester in many ways, we hope that our newspaper can be a space for Kenyon community members to reconnect with each other in a time which has separated so many of us from our friends, our mentors and our lives on the Hill.  

It goes without saying that 2020 has been a difficult year, and each day has presented us with a plethora of new challenges. At the same time, these less-than-ideal circumstances have presented us with an opportunity. They have inspired us all to take a second look at our communities, government, culture, and society; to question whether they are everything we want them to be, and, more importantly, whether they are everything we need them to be. It is in moments like these — when it is imperative to ask the big, the challenging and the incisive questions — that blue ribbon journalism is crucial.

This past summer has been a busy one for the Collegian staff. When the Kenyon semester ended in May, we were all ready for a break. As students, we were burned out and ready for summer. As journalists, however, we knew we couldn’t slow down. Our staff worked tirelessly throughout the summer to keep Collegian readers up-to-date on COVID-related news and developments, their effect on the Kenyon community and their impact on plans for the upcoming school year. We are proud to have been able to keep our community informed over the summer. 

Of course, we know our work is only beginning. More than ever, the role of the media has come under widespread scrutiny in the era of fake news. There is never a good time for poorly-executed journalism, but amid a pandemic, an imminent election season and calls to end systemic racism for good, hasty or self-serving reporting can have cataclysmic effects. 

But doing our jobs sufficiently is not enough; not only is it our duty to simply inform the Kenyon community, but, now more than ever, we also have a responsibility to protect our readers from the threat of corrupt institutions during this moment of widespread vulnerability. As journalists, we must hold our leaders accountable — the stakes are too high not to. 

As the executive staff of the Collegian for 2020-2021, we are here to serve the Kenyon and Gambier communities. We believe the responsibility of the media is to adapt to unusual circumstances. We vow never to lose sight of what we’re here to accomplish. 

There’s no way to know how this semester will go, but we’ll keep you informed every step of the way. Remember: We’re in this together. 

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