Here at the Phoenix, we may not appear to change from semester to semester as our product appears the same. We continue to print and publish pieces online every Thursday and we continue to produce sections that highlight news, arts, sports, and opinions within and affecting the Swarthmore community.
Yet, behind the scenes, the Phoenix is constantly evolving. From section editors to staff to writers, we at the Phoenix are constantly striving to innovate and transform the paper to represent the Swarthmore community in the best ways possible. Not just that, the people that make up this organization are constantly changing. Each semester, we have new editors, writers, and staff. Each semester, our editorial board has a slightly different approach. What doesn’t change, though, is our belief in the importance of sharing our goals and aspirations with the Swarthmore community. It is our mission to uphold the value of transparency in journalism. As a student publication serving the Swarthmore community, we believe that students have the right to know our objectives and intentions of the Phoenix.
Below are section-specific goals written by the respective sections editor(s).
The news section isn’t exactly “new.” The Phoenix has been covering campus news since the paper’s first issue in 1881, in which an unnamed student wrote about a fire that destroyed Parrish. Generations of news writers have broken stories on campus, from civil rights protests to to the dissolution of the football program to fossil fuel divestment. We aim to continue their tradition, a tradition of representing and commemorating the wide span of clubs, political causes, social events and student-led initiatives that characterize our community, both on campus and around our campus, in a new way every week. We also understand and document Swarthmore’s role in the local community, socially and politically.
This semester, as the news section, our goal is to take what we hear people whispering, discussing and shouting about, everywhere from Cornell 1st at 1 a.m. to Hobbs on a Saturday morning to the Facebook meme group (literally all the time), and get to the bottom of it. Inherent in that goal is a commitment to be a trustworthy and representative resource for the student body. We are independent from the administration, but we hold ourselves to a high standard of credibility and a longstanding tradition of journalistic ethics. We are a small campus, so many of the stories we tell are deeply personal, and we wish to respect that. By speaking to you, we extend our publication past the perspectives of our writers to capture an account that represents all students.
The Arts section aims to highlight the beauty and diversity here at Swarthmore College. We want to give students the opportunity to showcase their art of all types in our publication and give them a forum to discuss their passions.
The Opinions section is a place where campus discourse happens. It is rarely the start or the end of the discussions in this community, but it is the space where Swatties can put their perspectives out to the entire campus community. The Opinions section itself is a conversation, an exchange, a back and forth, where we challenge and inspire each other. All students are welcome to submit pieces and responses to those pieces as a way to express ideas, especially those that are complicated, important, and just too good for a Facebook status. Opinions sections in Swarthmore publications have been the source of controversy in the past, and we acknowledge the power that we have in shaping campus discourse. Writers have the ability to assert, dissent, and defend their ideas in a manner that advances productive discourse. The opinions section is a way to engage with one another, respectfully, with the power of words.
The Sports section is the most staffed section at the Phoenix. With 15+ contributing writers, we bring together varsity athletes, club and intramural athletes, as well as non-athletes who are passionate about covering the sports world both at Swarthmore and in the professional realm. As a section, we pride ourselves on covering sports news that matters to students, whether that be a preview on our Men’s Basketball team, or an article on Tiger Woods’ return to the professional golfing world. A hallmark of our section in the past semester is that we encourage a pursuit of sports articles that have connections to the non-sports world. Anthem kneeling in the NFL in response to police brutality and other systemic racism issues. Structural inequality in the U.S youth soccer system. Swarthmore athletes and their service work during their time off from athletics. Our section prides ourselves on being a place where sports coverage can be more than just a simple scorecard from a baseball game, as many sports sections in American newspapers have historically been.
We copy editors work behind the scenes to make sure stylistic conventions consistent throughout the Phoenix. Grammar, spelling, punctuation, and all that jazz is within our purview. We want to ensure you focus on content instead of a misused “your.” Should you find one, please notify firstname.lastname@example.org.
We at the Phoenix are excited to explore new methods toward achieving our goals. We promise to work toward representing the Swarthmore community with integrity.