Haverford’s Online Paper Blossoms; Challenges Older Bi-Co News

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Haverford has a new newspaper: the Clerk. Established in April 2012, it is the latest entrant in the portfolio of newspaper offerings Haverford and Bryn Mawr. These two members of the Tri-Co Consortium already share a newspaper, the Bi-College News, which is based out of Bryn Mawr.

Editor-in-chief Daniel Rothschild ’15  says that reception to the Clerk has been extremely positive, although “that could be because we’re new.” He notes that the Clerk hasn’t approached the administration and communications departments yet, but says that that could happen when they “move onto bigger things.”

Prior to the Clerk, Haverford students relied on the Bi-Co for their daily dose of stories and information about events on campus. “It seemed to a lot of people at Haverford that there was less and less reporting about Haverford,”  Rothschild  said. “The idea behind the Clerk was just that there always should be someone reporting on Haverford,” he said.

“In the past [the Bi-Co] had more of a Bryn Mawr focus, because we had much more heavy participation from Bryn Mawr,” Allison Levitan, ’14, the managing editor of the Bi-Co, said. However, she said equal coverage of Bryn Mawr and Haverford news is a priority, affirming that the Bi-Co was “making a push to ensure that [it] had news and writers from both campuses.”

 “When there is an event in Bryn Mawr that may have a counterpart in Haverford, we try to give equal coverage to both,” Anna Merriman ’13, the editor-in-chief of the Bi-Co, said. Bryn Mawr also has its own newspaper, the College News. Merriman and Levitan both commended the efforts of the Clerk’s staff.

Merriman, however, was full of praise for the bi-college newspaper model. “It makes for a closer Bi-Co community, because everyone reads the same paper and knows what’s happening on the other campus,” she said. But she acknowledged that the Bi-Co model prevented them from “being able to focus too much on the little stories on [either] campus.”

Rothschild, however, wants the Clerk to delve into the Haverford administration and other institutions that hold power at Haverford by means of “in-depth, year long projects […] People here have a lot of ideas, and we’re hoping to work on them very soon,” he said.

While Rothschild emphasized the Clerk’s focus as an online newspaper, Merriman said online is only one of the Bi-Co‘s platforms. “We’ve been trying to move more content online, but we’re also trying to maintain a [print] presence,” she said.

 “We think right now that our home is going to be online,” Rothschild said, of the Clerk. “I think being exclusively online offers us the opportunity to work with multimedia and new media. There are a lot of fascinating opportunities they could provide that we’re hoping to work with very soon […] It makes sense to be online, because that’s where journalism is going.”

Rothschild described funding as another problem of print journalism. “I believe that we shouldn’t be taking money from the institutions we report on,” he said. Trying to cover printing costs is difficult otherwise. He said the Clerk is “looking into ways to raise its own funds.”

Student involvement seems to be on the rise as well. Both the Clerk and the Bi-Co count a number of underclassmen among their staff, which is critical to developing a solid future editorial board. “Many Clerk writers are freshmen new to journalism […] but they’re very committed people,” Rothschild said.

Merriman echoed similar sentiments, noting that the Bi-Co had many freshmen sign up as writers this year.

Merriman and Levitan are bullish on campus media at the two schools. “College newspapers are huge in getting prospective students interested in the college,” Merriman said. Levitan recalls there being “a huge push for student authors” by the administration throughout her time at Bryn Mawr.

Merriman thinks there is space for both the campus-specific and combined newspaper formats in the  Haverford-Bryn Mawer communities. “I think it’s wonderful that there are papers that are going to focus entirely on that campus [Haverford], but I also think that it is necessary to have something that combines both the schools,” she said.

“I think that the way we have it set up now is the best way possible” Merriman said. “There’s plenty of news going around. There’s no way that we both can’t coexist”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The Phoenix

Discover more from The Phoenix

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading