Editorial: Leaving our past in the Piano Row basement

At Issue: A moment of self-reflection before we relocate

Our Take: There’s still work to be done

Starting this fall, the Beacon will occupy a new office at 172 Tremont St. With this transition, we hope to take our strengths with us and leave our mistakes and shortcomings behind in the basement of Piano Row where our current office resides.

As we prepare for our big move, we say goodbye to a newsroom that has provided the foundation for hundreds of journalism careers, leading to jobs at The Boston Globe, New York Magazine, WIRED, and more. It provided us and many other Beacon staffers, all who share many fond memories of their time here, with a creative and productive space for generations. We look forward to transitioning into the new office and continuing the work we do on campus next fall.

Though we believe we accomplished a lot this semester, there are always ways to improve our publication.

As an outlet for student voice, we want to build more connections with our readership. We realize we still need a greater presence on campus, so the staff has been trying to increase our outreach to students online.

We increased our social media and digital coverage by live-tweeting events such as the nine-alarm fire in East Boston and the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference men’s basketball championship game and the following NCAA opening tournament. And we expanded our podcast, The Beacon, to user-friendly streaming services such as Apple Podcasts and SoundCloud.

In February, we wrote an important editorial on the lack of attention to Black History Month at Emerson and pointed out the importance of having a diverse student body. Our newsroom, however, fails to include all the different voices on campus. That said, we are continuing to work to attract correspondents and hire editors of all backgrounds in an effort to build a more diverse newsroom next semester. We hope the new office will be a haven for journalists of all races, cultures, sexualities, genders, and more.

In an effort to highlight diverse writers and their viewpoints, the Living Arts section also debuted its person of color column this semester which featured rotating columnists each week. Columnists tackled cultural stereotypes, discrimination, and the overall minority experience. The introduction of the column is an instrumental piece in our effort to bring more voices and diversity into our newsroom, and we will continue to improve it next semester.

With our current staff this semester, the Beacon broke stories about important issues around campus. This included stories like the annual tuition increase, cannabis on campus, and the impending closure of Whisky Saigon. We strive to continue to be a reliable and consistent news source from our new home.

This hard work paid off in other ways as well. Our senior editors and section editors attended the Midwinter National College Journalism Convention in San Diego this past March and walked away with second place for best website and ninth place for best four-year weekly newspaper for schools with under 10,000 enrolled students. In addition, Beacon staffers won best outstanding opinion editorial and sports article at the 38th Annual EVVYs Gala this year. The paper also received EVVYs nominations for outstanding print publication and outstanding news article.

This semester, we noticed more students picking up print editions from newsstands around campus. As we stated in our first editorial of the semester, “Our print issues are more than pieces of paper—they are a way for our readers to hold an artifact that represents a point in time.” We hope that readership of both our print and online content continues into the 2019–20 school year and other years to come. And though we will miss our basement office, we promise to continue to dedicate ourselves to providing daily news to the Emerson community—but this time, from a shiny new office with a window.

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