North Carolina Newspapers

The Herald Never Gets It Right:
A Letter from the Editors
Ashleigh Phillips and Emily Gamiel, Editors
“The Herald is for
anyone who has sat
in President Allen’s
office, dirtied their
hands in our
sustainable garden,
cursed the stubborn
Dear readers,
Serving as Herald co-editors this
semester, we have learned a lot about
newspaper production. In learning,
we have made mistakes, but they were
not purposeful errors, and it was nev
er our intention to offend members of
the Meredith community. What you
are reading now is the Meredith Her
ald: a student run, bi-monthly publi
cation that is dedicated to its mission
of “representing our diverse com
munity by publicizing local events, by
addressing controversy, by cultivating
civic engagement and by empowering
women.” This publication is produced
by students and
will continue to
exist only if it has
support from the
community that it
Our writers, co
py-editors, layout
editor, and opera
tions manager are
students. Their
common experi
ence is the com
pletion of English
111, but that is the only prerequisite
to be on the Herald staff, because
we hope students from all academic
backgrounds will join us. Interested
students come to the Herald to gain
experience in publication and in most
cases have not taken relevant courses
(e.g. Professional Writing, Eng 358;
Intro to Journalism, Eng 245; Ad
vanced Grammar, Eng 275). As co
editors, we are not trained to teach
our staff. With every issue, we learn
and develop along with them.
We acknowledge the criticism we
have received this semester and wel
come continued commentary in the
spring. However, we would like for all
Herald readers to know that we are
a student newspaper staff at a school
with no journalism department. This
semester our staff consists of two edi
tors, 10 consistent writers, two copy
editors, one layout editor, and one
operations manager. And all of those
staff members deliver the best work
they can to the Herald and the Mer
edith community for every issue.
A Herald readership poll from
September 29, 2010 received 100
responses. Readers indicated that
their favorite columns were Whines
and Gripes, What’s Up in Raleigh, and
Ask Gigi. The least popular sections.
Science and Technology, Sports, and
International/National news, were
eliminated soon after the poll. Read
ers requested more Local and Campus
news that was relevant to students.
Those sections have doubled in size
since the survey. As co-editors this se
mester, we have done our best to print
articles that our readers asked for.
Another direct effect of that survey
was the creation of an on
line portal for the Herald
(which you can visit at
herald). According to the
number of visits to our ac
count, readership this fall
has greatly improved from
previous semesters. The
geese, found a book in average number of times
Carlyle Campbell or pur account was accessed
last four issues of the
semester, is 41. The four
issues published this semester hold an
average of 183 reads. This average is
from our online readers only and does
not include those who read a hard
This is an example of our effort to
reach out to the Meredith community.
In hopes of gaining more feedback,
we’ve created another readership
poll so that we can use the responses
to improve our issues for the spring
semester. Changes in the Herald are
implemented only if feedback is pro
vided for the staff. You can access the
poll and help us improve, by sharing
your thoughts at www.surveymonkey.
The Herald production process is
not as simple as it may seem. The staff
meets every week, and writers bring
forth ideas for articles and an issue
outline is constructed. Writers have
one week to complete research, inter
views, and drafts of their articles. And
from 10 writers, 17 articles are needed
to create one issue of the Herald. Ar
ticles are assigned 15 days before their
image via Ashleigh Phillips
publication date—making it impos
sible for the Herald to cover breaking
news. This is a reality our small staff
cannot avoid and an issue that we
have embraced, making the some
times difficult task of improvisation
one of our more frequently performed
jobs. While we cannot cover the most
recent news, by focusing on Meredith
students and faculty members, wom
en’s issues, and events that happen in
the local community, we have made a
paper that is immediately relevant to
our college.
After articles have been submitted,
copy editors have
at most four days to
complete editing. The
edited articles are
then reread and orga
nized by the editors
and sent to the layout
editor. She completes
the layout the week
end before the issue
hits stands, and the
editors make revi
sions as needed until
the night before publication when
the paper is submitted to the printer.
In all, we estimate that writers con
tribute 3 hours per week; copyeditors
contribute 1; layout editor contributes
4 hours an issue; and editors contrib
ute 12 hours per week to the Herald.
That adds up to more than 115 hours
of work to produce each issue of the
State & Local: Hate Crime at NC State, Raleigh Mayoral Race, American Jobs Act, Female Football Player
Arts & Entertainment: Paula Deen, Shakespeare, Menvin Visits Raleigh, Ask Gigi, What’s Up In.Raleigh
Campus Life (Corn Edition) : Confessions of Cornaholics, President Allen Talks Corn, Recipes
Opinion: Corn Wristband Controversy, Whines and Gripes
That said, we love the work we do,
and the Herald is for anyone who has
sat in President Allen’s office, dirtied
their hands in our sustainable garden,
cursed the stubborn geese, found a
book in Carlyle Campbell, or slept on
third Poteat. The Herald is dedicated
to representing this shared Meredith
experience of our diverse community.
As co-editors we acknowledge that
this community is made up of profes
sors, policeman, groundsworkers, and
cooks, but we also know that Meredith
College is here only because of the
students; therefore,
the Herald is their
We ask that you
embrace the Mer
edith Herald as your
community’s paper.
It is a reflection of
your campus. It is
a chronicle of your
college. It is a record
of the events and
atmosphere of the
time you’ve spent at Meredith. And
it cannot exist without you. Send us
letters to the editors, send in your
submissions, tell us what needs to
be covered, and tell us what we have
done wrong. This is when the Herald
will start getting it right.
Thank you for reading, and we look
forward to hearing from you,
Ashleigh Phillips and Emily Gamiel
(Remember to take the readership
poll at
“ We ask that you
embrace the Meredith
Herald as your
community ’s paper. It
is a reflection of your
camp us. It is a
chronicle of your
college [...] And it can
not exist without you. ”

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