A letter from the editors-in-chief to our readers

Julia Jacobs, Camille Park, Editors-in-Chief

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Readers,

Welcome to what is sure to be a story-filled year.

The Oracle, which is comprised of 27 editorial-board members, 42 writers, four photographers and one adviser, exists first and foremost to facilitate a connection between our school and the larger community. We present this issue of the Oracle as the first of seven snapshots of the action and excitement this year at South.

The beauty of being a school newspaper is that we need not feel pressure to sensationalize because of financial worry. For some publications, page-hits has become priority number one.

For example, on Aug. 26, CNN’s top story was “Miley Cyrus twerks it out at MTV VMAs.” The first thing readers saw when they opened the CNN site was Miley and her foam finger rather than updates on the chemical weapons attack in Syria that took place just five days prior.

As a school-funded newspaper, those are the kind of decisions that the Oracle is immune to. As a result, we can operate with the tenets of quality journalism as our first priority. In some ways, we have more freedom than national publications to print the stories that we feel are most important for you to read, and we recognize the responsibility that comes with this privilege.

Because words have the power to incite very real emotion, understand that we never aim to stir up controversy for controversy’s sake. If one of our reporters asks you for an interview, it is never to violate your privacy but rather to understand your perspective on an issue of importance.

Sometimes we will expand our coverage outside the walls of South and even the boundaries of Glenview and Northbrook. For example, in this issue, we covered SlutWalk, an event that took place in the heart of the city of Chicago (pages 10-11).  When we cover a story like this, it is because it speaks to an issue that is applicable to the people of our community.

Other times, we may cover a topic a world away, like columnist Chris Callahan’s piece about U.S. involvement in Syria (page 5). Stories like this one are important simply in their significance to the world.

A new goal this year is to bring more color to our stories by creating at least one multimedia feature per issue –that refers to a video, podcast or photo slideshow. These projects will be featured on our website. In this way, we are moving with the tide of New Media to supplement our traditional print publication.

As a reader, you are an integral piece of this puzzle, a key player with the ability to make what we do more effective. There are a few things you can do to accomplish this.

An interview is a way to make your voice heard on an issue you care about or even a rare chance to talk exclusively about yourself.

For students especially, one thing we can promise is that around a certain time each month, you will be bombarded with surveys. At lunch, when you are in the cafeteria, we will ask you to take a survey. On Facebook, when you are scrolling through your Newsfeed, we will ask you take a survey.

Rather than a burden or an annoyance, we urge you to see these surveys as a chance for you to establish your presence in South’s student body. The more people who take our surveys, the more reliable our statistics are. The more reliable our statistics are, the more you learn from our stories.

We urge you to actively participate in the conversation about our school and beyond. Have a story that you think deserves coverage? Tell us. Have thoughts on a story that we published? We want to know.

You can’t claim that we lack the proper mode of communication; you can contact us by emailing gbsoracle@gmail.com or individual reporters, tweet us @GBSOracle, message our Facebook page “The Glenbrook South Oracle” or employ an age-old method of communication: come to Room 246 during the school day to speak with us personally.

As students, we are still in the process of perfecting our journalistic skills. However, we see our role in the school as more than just an extracurricular activity. We promise the utmost attention to accuracy, and in turn, we hope you will trust us to deliver the news most important to you.

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