The Dartmouth: What it's Like to Work for America's Oldest College Newspaper
When I entered college, I was super excited to join The Dartmouth news staff, which is, fun fact, America's oldest college newspaper. Hearing back after my interview, I was stoked. Journalism is an awesome way to grow as a writer, hear stories, work on a passionate team, and report the truth!
Having just wrapped up my freshman year, the upperclassmen play a crucial role in mentoring us new writers and inspiring us to write more. These editors are responsible for pitching news stories and leading Story Assignment Meetings (SAMs) every Sunday afternoon. They email out Story Assignment Briefings (SABs), which provide a helpful list of potential sources, questions to ask during interviews, and more. The managing editors, news executive editor, and editor-in-chief all provide super thoughtful feedback throughout the editing process.
A huge component of working for The D is the insane amount of teamwork we do. From double bylines to communicating through Slack, our job as journalists would not be complete without collaboration. My first article of freshman year, "COVID-19 brings changes to leaf-peeping season," was a double byline piece I worked on with fellow People Places Pines blogger Griselda '24. We felt like real journalists, heading out to town to interview managers at local restaurants and talking with current Dartmouth students, both new and old.
Since Hanover is such an intimate town, news reporters have the opportunity to speak directly with local business owners and form relationships with community members. During the spring, I had the chance to speak with the new Board of Trustees, an amazing bunch of alum who have great plans for the College. Some of my favorite pieces include "4U Bubble Tea brings popular beverage to Hanover," "Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich '68 speaks about uncertainty and social impact," and "The future of Zoom: online platforms might be here to stay" because of the lasting and memorable conversations I shared.
During the spring quarter, when COVID-19 restrictions began to ease up, I visited The Dartmouth's offices for in-person edits in Robinson Hall, right next to FoCo (our main dining hall). I was amazed to see the actual physical office space after working on Zoom for most of the year.
Regardless of your prior experience, everyone can be a journalist; the beauty in writing is that there is never a definite right or wrong answer, but rather an endless combination of undiscovered ways words can be ordered to form sentences. Whether you are interested in covering sports, opinion, mirror (similar to culture & lifestyle), photography, or arts, The Dartmouth staff has a space for you. There is also the business side for students interested in finance, advertising, tech, or management.
So far, I've written 20 articles for The D and I'm excited to keep reporting in the years to come. Be sure to check out The Dartmouth website for a glimpse of our content!