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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Crimson elects a new leadership

The Harvard Crimson elected a new leadership last week after a three week long deliberation. One major reality of the Crimson is that the people who know who runs what- who to call to ask for, compliment or complain about coverage, how to get something published, etc.- are the people who are best able to access media power at Harvard. This is not a bash at the Crimson, it's the kind of thing that's universally true about newspapers, media etc. and there's not really much they can do about it. The Crimson will, at some point, announce the new board and they certainly don't try to keep this type of thing a secret (you can just look at the masthead on any given day). But, it can't hurt to try to spread this knowledge as widely as possible. The jobs that matter most (to political people peoples at least), along with a brief description of what you need to know about what they do) are as follows:
President (the person who runs the show, spends a lot of time on the phone with lawyers, lives in their office) - Will Marra

Managing Editor (the person who runs the paper's content, other than editorial, makes daily coverage decisions, etc.) - Zach Seward

Associate Managing Editors (the people who run the news section, manage reporters, etc.) - Dan Hemel and May Habib.

Editorial Chairs (the people who run editorial meetings, have final say on staff eds, and generally run the editorial page) - Michael Broukhim and Matt Meisel.

Associate Editorial Editors (the people who run various aspects of the ed page and have varied forms of editorial powers above basic voting editors) - Andrew English, Brian Rosenberg, Piotr Brzezinski, Drew Trombly, Sahil Mahtani and Adam Guren.
I'll have thoughts on this at some later point, specifically on the political make-up of the new Editorial Board. In the meantime, do you have any thoughts on the process, the product, or the Crimson in general? Also, Crimson peoples, let me know if I screwed up any of the job descriptions (readers: take note to read comments for any such corrections!).

15 Comments:

At 10:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might want to doublecheck the roles of the Managing Editor and Editorial Chair.

 
At 10:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might mention that reading whether someone is "Moderate," "Liberal," or "Very Conservative" on facebook.com doesn't begin to describe individuals' personal political beliefs.

 
At 11:26 PM, Blogger andrew golis said...

First commenter, could you educate me by actually correcting me as opposed to just noting that I should look into things... I mistyped the ME as other than news when I meant other than editorial, but what did I screw up about editorial chair? (I'm open to criticism!)

Second commenter, are you worried that I will be too superficial in analyzing the Ed Board's politics? I'd love to hear more thoughts...

 
At 11:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(from the second poster)

Please forgive me Andrew, for thinking that your analysis of the new editorial board might be superficial or biased. The board should only be allowed to editorialize on "Antarctica and beer..." You should be allowed to form your own conclusions on a far wider set of topics.

 
At 11:54 PM, Blogger andrew golis said...

haha, gotcha. I was, in case this wasn't clear, being hyperbolic in my attack on the Ed Board... but I guess that should go without saying. In any event, I appreciate your concern. When/if I do write something, let me know if/how I'm wrong. One thing that seperates CC from the Ed Board: unregulated, immediate and connected comments ;)

 
At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting: broukhim is an incoming president of a final club...

 
At 1:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

there's one woman, two minorities, out of 13 people.

 
At 1:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two things, from someone who is very familiar with how all this works:

1) The editorial chairs have nearly no control over what becomes staff opinion. The main jobs of the editorial chairs are to set the agenda for staff meetings, although anyone can propose agenda items, and to make sure that all interested voices of Crimson editors can be heard at staff meetings. The President has the ultimate control over all content

2) To the criticism that we're minority-light: it depends how you define minorities. But we are very, very conscious of the fact that we are overwhelmingly a white, male bunch, and we have every intention of continuing to recruit opinions and editors from the entire spectrum of campus opinion, regardless of who's checking the grammar.

 
At 2:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To disagree, editorial chairs have surprisingly more influence on staff position than one would initially expect. The ability to decide who speaks and when they speak in a meeting can have a lot of strategic influence on the results. They also usually have the final say on the language of the editorials before they go to print. Finally, to underestimate the power of agenda-setting is folly.

For instance, whereas this past year was an interesting mixed bag, one need not dig too deep into the past to find relationships between UC Presidents and editorial chairs and their interesting correlations with coverage (Compare Rohit/Kessler, Mahan/No one, GriceSlack/GlazerNichols)

 
At 2:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and the fact that Grice and Glazer are blockmates means that the ed board always supports the UC. Always. Like when it comes to their janitor wages resolution, or their plans for social programming... Oh wait. The ed board rips the UC all the time.

 
At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point there was, as noted, that this past year has been "a mixed bag" because of the mixed rooming situations...was that not clear?

 
At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the news executives (along with Seward, Habib, and Hemel) who will make the daily choices about which stories get banner headlines and which ones get buried. (That's called "proofing" in Crimson parlance.) So, to look at the diversity of the 11 folks who will be "proofing" next year.

# of Latinos: 1
# of African-Americans: 1
(admittedly, it's the same person, a Latino African-American, but anyhow...)
# of Arab-Canadians: 1
# of Asian-Americans: 2
# of women: 5

That's reasonably representative of the campus at large.<

 
At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about the gender problem on the ed board?

 
At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the dayslotter, not the proofer, assigns and slots (places) the stories (the proofer can change them, but mostly the order and placement of stories is fixed before dinner, at a meeting led by the person who slotted the stories).
If anybody has any thoughts on how to improve coverage of minority groups on campus, it's something the Crimson has struggled with for a long time, not necessarily because of the paper's ethnic makeup, but because of the cycle of antipathies that prevent accurate and thorough coverage of student groups beyond the shallow dailies about events. There are certainly issues within each of the myriad clubs and groups at Harvard, and I think those would be fascinating.

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger Jersey Slugger said...

In terms of diversity, obviously solely acknowledging the fact that their upper leadership lacks diversity does not suffice. I think that this stems from something that The Crimson just does not do well: recruting domestic racial minorities. Much respect to Kyle De Beausset who constantly implores people in the Black community (and probably others) to comp The Crimson, but even this is not enough. Simply becoming a writer (and therefore "editor", I suppose) does not alter the range of coverage or the opinions stated on the Op-Ed page. This requires devoted domestic racial minorities (i.e. Blacks, Latinos, Asians, etc.) that will pursue upper echeleons of this immense campus organization. In all of my "two and some change" years at Harvard no person from The Crimson has ever come to the BMF, BSA, or HASA general (and OPEN, mind you) meetings specifically to recruit Blacks for The Crimson. NONE. Not to mention the Freshman Black Table (FBT) which would be a prime venue to get a group of domestic racial minorities involved in The Crimson early on giving them time to work their way through the ranks.

I think that an inherent problem with minorities leading mainstream (read: White) organizations at Harvard is the fact that there are so many cultural or racially-based groups that one can be a part of an seek officer positions in. For example, due to my race, cultural background, and gender I have the Black Student's Association (BSA), Black Men's Forum (BMF), Harvard African Student's Association (HASA), and the Nigerian Student's Association (NSA) geared towards people like me that I can pursue leadership positions in (if I so choose) and gain community from my membership in. This is not the case for White people; especially White males and the campus groups that they end up in inevitably become groups that are large, well-established and feed their leaders into the upper echeleons of their field's post-college (i.e. The Crimson or Lampoon with the NY Times or The Simpsons, respectively). This is not to say anything about these cultural and racial groups which I love (and will attend meetings for later tonight), but more of these diversity-bringing individuals at Harvard need to pursue positions in non-race or culture-based organizations so that OUR issues are addressed and diversity of thought and perspective or provided (hopefully).

 

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