I was reading the May issue of my high school newspaper, The Mall, when I came across a charming (although unsolicited) advertisement on page 9 for this very site. Notwithstanding my general antipathy toward all things high school, I was tickled pink.
The most interesting article in the issue was the editorial "A Tale of Two Papers, Part II," by one of the editors-in-chief, Ryan Gingo. Although long (though still much shorter than the May 2004 Atlantic article by former New York Times executive editor Howard Raines, which could be summarized in about half the space), it was worth the read (alas, there is currently no online version of The Mall).
As a former co-editor-in-chief of The Mall myself (although I feel like Matthew Yglesias for mentioning it), I feel like I understand its constant battle for those two most important aspects of any publication - quality and timeliness. I well remember having to jettison an entire April Fools' issue because, quite frankly, April was almost over.
I was jolted out of my nostalgic reverie by Gingo's mention that his piece was meant to be a response to a similarly titled editorial by Adam Furlong in The Quill (which is also not available online). Not familiar with such a paper, I read on as each of Furlong's criticisms of The Mall was rebutted. By the end of the editorial, I was left with a distinct feeling of dï¿½jï¿½ vu. Was not The Quill the modern-day equivalent of Sic Transit?
For those readers who had the misfortune not to have been at my high school in the spring of 2001, Sic Transit was a product of the school's Writing Center, which was the hub of the school's intelligentsia. The articles I wrote in the first and second issues were some of the best writing of my junior year. I did not write for the third issue, as I was too busy working on The Mall at that time.
Regardless of Sic Transit's obvious bias toward opinionated commentary, many students made (unwarranted, perhaps) comparison between it and The Mall, normally along the lines of "I cannot understand what the writers are saying in Sic Transit, but I know The Mall sucks." Not willing to let this state of affairs continue, my co-editor Danielle and I set out to improve The Mall, making it a better newspaper. As far as I can tell, we succeeded, due in no small amount to the personal rapport we enjoyed with one another, having been friends for four years. Of course, there were other factors at play, but it would take too long to tell of them (and I am no Howard Raines). Perhaps another day, or in my memoirs.