Letter from the editor: Makenzi Johnson
Some students thrive on routine. Maybe you’re one of those students. The Clarion used to thrive on routine.
Two weeks before the school year started, before we would start working on the first issue of the year, we were informed that the Clarion received a 25% budget decrease, about $10,000 worth.
We had no explanation. We had no plans.
The Clarion staff had been working on a special back to school issue all throughout the summer, but we had to tell them that we couldn’t afford to print it anymore. To tell your staff that you can’t print the work they spent so much time on, their craft and art, is heartbreaking. I felt like the villain.
Due to the budget cut, we can’t afford to print all the eight print issues that we usually do. There was absolutely no other option than to change how the Clarion functions. We needed to adapt, but how?
The next step was to completely redesign how we make our print issues. If we could no longer afford certain things, how can we still produce content and get it out to the student body? One option was to convert to fully online, no print issues. Another was to only print two issues, one at the end of each semester. Various other options were mentioned but ultimately all were thrown out the window.
We decided that we will produce four print issues, two each semester, and in addition, rely heavily on our online and social media presence.
This new routine would not be easy for us to adapt to. I know the Clarion routine. I practically lived and breathed this routine. How can I lead the staff to best produce content to serve the Bethel community when the one thing I was confident about is now gone?
As much as I was going through the five stages of grief for our budget loss, a part of me was hopeful — hopeful for the opportunity to change what Bethel journalism looks like and how the student body can receive it. Clarion staff get to learn how to better use social media. We get to be more intentional about creating stories that are relevant and timely for our website. We get to be more creative and fun when making column stories.
Maybe this change is a good thing. Yes, the budget cut is very unfortunate and I won’t lie when I say I cried due to the frustration of it all. Yes, we won’t be printing all eight issues, but we will still be creating. Maybe change is a good thing, because we will still be telling stories that matter, because truth matters.