From the Editor: A Year of The Runner in Review and What’s to Come for 2020
Columns / January 22, 2020
January is always an exciting time for The Runner staff. Having just come back from Canada’s annual student journalism conference, NASH, our newsroom usually kicks off the new year full of passion and ideas. This year is no different. And although 2020 marks my fifth year with the paper — as well as my fifth year at KPU in general — it still doesn’t feel like our momentum is slowing. The last 12 months have brought tremendous changes and opportunities for our little paper, and I’m hopeful the 12 upcoming will bring even more.
If you don’t know already, The Runner is funded by students. We couldn’t exist without our members paying a small per-credit fee in support of Polytechnic Ink Publishing Society, the not-for-profit umbrella organization that provides a budget to the student newspaper as well as Pulp, KPU’s arts and culture magazine.
Because of that, if you’re a student here, it is very much your business to know what we do with our finances. As someone who has spent their entire post-secondary education here, working with this publication and leading the teams that put it together every other week, here’s what you need to know about The Runner in 2020.
We filled two new staff positions on our tiny eight-person staff: community reporter and outreach coordinator. The former, previously occupied by now-CTV employee Ashley Hyshka, now belongs to Nicole Gonzales Filos. It’s her job to connect with communities on and around campus, and to represent marginalized and underrepresented voices across Metro Vancouver. Nicole is one of two on-staff writers, the other being another recent hire, Saira Kanwal, who took over when Cristian Hobson-Dimas moved on. She is our staff writer, making her our go-to journalist for KPU-relevant news, particularly breaking stories.
She also has a passion for community issues and helping international students tell their stories. Our new outreach coordinator, Kyler Emerson, helps us connect with you, the readers, as well as potential interviewees. He assists our web manager Alex Rodriguez in keeping our social media active, networks with KPU clubs and organizations, and makes sure we have a strong and reputable presence on campus.
Previously our most senior editor and former member of Pulp, Connor Doyle left the paper, and ex-staff writer Braden Klassen moved into his spot as managing editor. I am now the most senior member of The Runner, assisted by long-standing PIPS Operations Manager Scott Boux in running our office and organizational infrastructure. Also on our staff team is our production manager Sarah Kraft, who lays the paper out and designs our print copies, and our graphics editor Kristen Frier, who takes care of art and photo submissions, and runs The Runner’s new online comedy branch, Dawdle. She is responsible for working with artists and photographers to give to paper its visuals and make it both informative and prettier.
The idea for Dawdle was born last year at NASH 2019, when Frier, Doyle, Klassen, Boux, and I came up with a bunch of story ideas that were too silly to go into a newspaper and too funny to go in the trash. Now, we put those ideas on Dawdle. It’s a labour of love. You can check it out at dawdle.ca.
Last year, we tried out video production, mostly to no avail. But in 2020 we’re trying again! And hopefully, within a few months, we’ll have regular video content for you to enjoy. We also want to start producing podcasts, which have clearly boomed in popularity this year and seem to be a more accessible means of getting news. We’re thinking of organizing more on-campus events. We might even partner with other on-campus groups to bring you something fun and exciting. This month, we’ll be participating in the KAIROS blanket exercise, “a unique, participatory history lesson – developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers and educators – that fosters truth, understanding, respect and reconciliation among Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples,” as written on its website. This is part of our ongoing effort to better educate ourselves and our contributors, to make us better journalists and more educated people.
When I was elected in the summer, I told the members who voted me in as the editor in chief that my goal was to bring more contributors into our newsroom, to make The Runner more accessible, to make sure our goals aligned with the needs of our membership and that we’re doing our best to reflect our campuses’ interests. I won’t pretend that’s an easy task to achieve, but I am proud to say we’re making good progress. Our pool of writers, artists, and photographers has grown, and I hope it keeps growing indefinitely.
As far as I’m concerned, the best thing this paper can get is more involvement from the people who are part of KPU. My inbox is always open to anyone who has questions, comments, or concerns about The Runner. If you’re interested in getting involved, or you would like to see more or less of a certain topic in our coverage — if you have an issue with one of our (ahem) issues, or if you just want to say hello, don’t be shy. It’s my job to listen.
We put this publication together and get to do what we love because of you. Student media is nothing without students, and we owe you a product you feel is worthwhile and important. Tell us what you want to see from us, and we can help make that happen. You can contact me anytime at email@example.com.