From the Editor: The Runner’s new year's resolutions

We have a few exciting things happening in 2021, and we aren’t going to let COVID-19 stop them

(Kristen Frier)

When I think of what 2020 brought for The Runner, I think of many stories with sentences that begin with the phrase “Due to COVID-19,” I think of internet disconnections in the middle of meetings, but I also think about our team producing and posting stories every day like a 24/7 factory.

The Runner began 2020 with some of us attending the Canadian University Press national student journalism conference. We made new connections, listened to inspiring journalists, and, of course, popped bottles in our hotel room. In the following months, we hosted regular pitch meetings, chilled in the office, and worked while eating packs of Mr. Noodles and microwaved vegetarian burritos.

Then, COVID-19 rolled through March like a giant bowling ball and sent all of us home.

However, we didn’t let COVID-19 stop our schedule, and contributors continued to pitch and take stories despite moving our meetings online. By April, we began hosting Zoom meetings, switched our issues online, and began publishing them online every three weeks.

This past year we have gained an immense appreciation for our contributors. In the last couple of months, we have had many contributors writing for us on each issue. This helps us a lot because without our contributors to write stories, our paper would not have flourished.

I’m excited about what 2021 has in store for our publication. For starters, we moved offices! Our new office is now in Birch 106, it’s right below the cafeteria and in front of the book store. Though it is a bit small, it’s still an accessible place for students.

For this new year, we are planning on getting back into creating YouTube videos. Since everything is online, we figured that the best way for you to see us and to engage more with us is by creating videos. These videos will mostly be about stories we have written, but also about fun activities we do at The Runner.

We hope to start hosting online mixers where we can play games online, watch movies, and chit chat to get to know our contributors. I think a good game of Among Us can unite any friendship.

We plan to be engaging on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter by posting more of our faces and showing behind the scenes moments on how we manage to work online.

To make it easier for those who wish to write for us, we have created a new Submissions Guidelines document attached to our pitch list where it details everything you need to know about how to start writing for us. It covers The Runner’s Style Guide, payment for stories, photos, and art. You don’t need to be a journalism student to write with us. All you need is curiosity and a desire to share stories others haven’t heard.

The editors and I will begin hosting workshops for both our staff, contributors, and students. We want each workshop to have a different theme, and to start, we are hoping to do one on the laws and ethics for journalists.

I’m looking forward to what 2021 has for us. I want to thank the contributors who kept on pitching and writing stories and to you, the students, for supporting your newspaper.