Letter from the Editor

Rachel Alexander

I joined the staff of The Pioneer my freshman year at Whitman, mostly because I thought I’d have a better shot at making friends if I was involved in something on campus. I was a news reporter with no experience, but I quickly grew to love the weekly cycle of setting up interviews, chasing down sources, writing an article and seeing it come out in print later in the week.

The Pioneer has seen a lot of growth since I penned my first article (“Proposed Valley Transit cuts meet resistance). Two redesigns have left the paper looking much cleaner and more professional, and every semester I hear more students, staff and faculty discussing articles during breaks between class. For the first time this year, The Pioneer is a finalist for three national awards from the Associated Collegiate Press, the national organization for college journalists and media organizations. Out of all the colleges selected by ACP this year, we’re one of a very small few with no journalism or communications department or program.

This may sound like bragging, and perhaps it is. While The Pioneer isn’t the most visible organization on campus––we don’t throw a ton of parties, and our office is tucked away in the top corner of Reid Campus Center––we are one of the largest, with about 80 paid staff members. In this sense, we reflect the Whitman campus, not only by recording what happens here on a day-to-day basis, but also by giving students a place to speak about the things that matter most to them.

This year, I hope to continue to grow The Pioneer––not only the print newspaper, but the organization as a whole. We’re planning to have weekly videos on our website, covering everything from major events on campus to Walla Walla’s surprisingly vibrant hip-hop scene, and expanded blog content, with daily updates from a diverse lineup of Whitman students.

Of course, these are just our ideas, and while The Pioneer‘s staff is a big part of campus, we can’t be everywhere. If there’s something you’d like to see from us, let us know. If you have a complaint, criticism or just want to bounce an idea off of us, drop us a line at [email protected] The growth and success of The Pioneer have always depended on hearing from the campus community, and this year more than ever, we want to know how we can best be your newspaper.