2148 F – Inside the GW Hatchet

Updated: Aug. 29, 2016 at 3:04 p.m.

The Associated Collegiate Press has named the GW Hatchet a finalist for best college newspaper.

The Hatchet is among 30 finalists up for the ACP Newspaper Pacemaker for four-year, non-daily newspapers. The work considered for the award is from the Hatchet’s 112th volume.

Four judges selected the finalists from 155 entries, according to ACP’s release.

Judges considered accuracy, design and creativity, and “finalists stood out through professionalism, diverse coverage and risk-taking,” according to the release.

Winners will be announced at ACP’s national convention in D.C. Oct. 20 through 23.

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The Hatchet’s staff editorials won the Society of Professional Journalists’ national competition for best editorial writing – an award The Hatchet had not won in recent history.

The judges selected one national winner and two finalists out of the winners from the society’s 12 regions. They chose winners based on work in 2015.

The editorial board tackled topics like rescinding Bill Cosby’s degree and GW mandating trigger warnings in staff editorials last year.

The Hatchet’s staff editorials won the regional category for editorial writing earlier this year. The Hatchet also received regional recognition in six other areas.

In 2015, a Hatchet cartoonist won the Society of Professional Journalists’ national category for editorial cartooning.


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The Hatchet came in first place in three categories of a national collegiate journalism competition, including for best breaking news photo. Hatchet file photo by Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

The Hatchet came in first place in three categories of a national collegiate journalism competition, including for best breaking news photo. Hatchet file photo by Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

The Society of Professional Journalists recognized The Hatchet in seven categories last week for their annual collegiate journalism awards.
The Hatchet earned the top spot in the following categories:

  • Best use of multimedia: Faces of D.C. by the GW Hatchet multimedia staff
  • Hatchet file photo by Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

    Hatchet file photo by Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

  • General news photography at a large university (10,000+ students): Supreme Court rules in favor of legalizing gay marriage by Desiree Halpern
  • Breaking news photography at a large university (10,000+ students): Fire breaks out at Potomac Plaza Terraces by Desiree Halpern
  • Editorial writing: GW Hatchet staff editorials by GW Hatchet Staff
  • The first-place winners in the region – which includes Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and D.C. – will go on to the SPJ’s national Mark of Excellence competition and will be judged among winners from 12 regions.

    The Hatchet was recognized as a finalist in other categories, including:

  • Best all-around newspaper: The GW Hatchet
  • Feature photography: Falling forward with GW Baseball by Dan Rich
  • Hatchet file photo by Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

    Hatchet file photo by Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

  • Sports writing at a large university (10,000+ students): Shaped in Katrina’s wake, swimming coach begins rebuild by Nora Princiotti
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    Thursday, March 17, 2016 5:04 p.m.

    The Hatchet is hiring web developers

    The Hatchet is hiring web developers to join our staff.

    The Hatchet is looking for enthusiastic and skilled web developers to join our team for the 2016-2017 school year.

    We want to build an online strategy that changes the status-quo of college news, and we are looking for your help in that process. This is a from-the-ground-up rethinking of our web presence, and we need coders, designers and digital journalists to assist in this ambitious goal.

    While working for Web, you’ll get hands on experience with current generation languages, practices and software. We use the same technology used by major companies like Netflix (Amazon Web Services) and WordPress.com (PHP and nginx), and major publications like the New York Times (jquery) and CNN (MySQL).

    Do PHP, HTML5 and CSS3, WordPress, JQuery, Ruby on Rails, EC2 or S3 sound familiar? If your answer is yes, then apply now and help to prepare The Hatchet for the fast-paced and transforming world of Web.

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    Updated: March 8, 2016 at 1:20 a.m.

    As editor in chief of The Hatchet, I edit every piece of content we produce across our sections: news, opinions, culture and sports.

    In light of conversations surrounding the Student Association election, I want to take some time to explain The Hatchet’s position on gender identity and pronoun use. The Hatchet, like many other newsrooms nationwide, makes every effort to use a source’s preferred gender pronouns. In everything we do, we strive to be accurate and fair.

    Associated Press Style is considered the standard for traditional newsrooms, and The Hatchet follows AP Style in our writing and editing. According to the AP Stylebook, reporters should “use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth. If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.”

    SA presidential candidate Erika Feinman openly identifies as queer and has a non-binary gender identity, which The Hatchet reported in a story about SA candidates representing minority groups.

    Neither Feinman nor Feinman’s campaign staff have asked me to change the pronouns in any of our content, but because this issue was addressed at the SA debate on Monday, I want to provide more details about the editing and reporting process.

    When Hatchet reporters or editors are unsure how a source identifies, they will ask for clarification. Feinman had three separate conversations with Hatchet reporters, dating back to Feb. 24, about preferred gender pronouns. In the emails, Feinman said “they/them” and “she/her” pronouns are acceptable.

    “My pronouns are they/them/theirs/she/her/hers, so either is fine, but I do have a preference for they/them/theirs,” Feinman said in an email to a Hatchet reporter on Feb. 24.

    The Hatchet used “she” and “her” pronouns throughout our content. That decision is consistent with past coverage of Feinman – including the announcement of Feinman’s candidacy from last month. It also reflects a journalistic standard to write as clearly and concisely as possible, in line with AP Style and recommendations from GLAAD and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.

    I also considered Feinman’s gender pronouns in the process of editing The Hatchet’s editorial board endorsements. While Feinman did not discuss pronouns or identity with the editorial board, I shared that information with its members. Because I was aware of the conversations between Feinman and our news section, and because gender pronouns did not come up during the endorsement hearing, I kept the pronoun use in the endorsement consistent with its use in news content.

    Though I am not a member of the editorial board, I sit in on editorial board meetings to share facts and context with members. Our editorial board is 100 percent separate from our news section: Members neither write nor edit news stories, and our news editors and reporters do not provide their opinions on editorial topics.

    Going forward, The Hatchet will refer to Feinman using “they” and “them” pronouns in all content, as that is what they said they preferred during Monday’s debate.

    The Hatchet is not the only news organization to grapple with this sensitive topic, and I am certain we will not be the last. As always, I welcome feedback – I can be reached at cmurphy@gwhatchet.com. Letters to the editor in response to content can be submitted here.

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    Friday, March 4, 2016 11:03 a.m.

    Wanted: Hatchet copy editors

    The Hatchet is looking for two copy editors to join our staff.

    If you love correcting your friends’ grammar and enjoy great writing, we encourage you to apply.

    Copy editors read The Hatchet’s news, culture, opinions and sports stories before they are published. We are seeking dedicated team members to polish articles for our award-winning, student-run newspaper.

    Prior journalism experience is not a requirement, and undergraduate or graduate students studying can apply. A small tuition scholarship is available for eligible candidates.

    Working for The Hatchet will give you connections beyond GW. The Hatchet has a vast alumni network with past staff now working at news outlets like The Hill, Politico and The Washington Post.

    If this position speaks to the grammar nerd in you, email join@gwhatchet.com by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, March 20 to apply. Attach a copy of your résumé, and we will contact you shortly.

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    Sophomore Ellie Smith is a political communication major. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

    Sophomore Ellie Smith is a political communication major. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

    The Hatchet’s staff elected sophomore Ellie Smith as its 2016-2017 editor in chief Saturday.

    Smith, a political communication major and history minor, will lead the paper through its 113th volume starting in May.

    The Columbus, Ohio native has covered Title IX, mental health, the Faculty Senate and GW’s academic departments and programs since she joined the paper as a freshman.

    This year, she has broken stories about a high-profile lawsuit and the departure of the former counseling center director. She also covered the provost’s resignation in the fall and the impact of budget cuts on GW’s academic programs.

    Smith also covered the implementation of mandatory sexual assault prevention trainings and the creation of GW’s global degree program.

    When she’s not in The Hatchet townhouse, Smith enjoys doing yoga, taking walks and eating dessert.

    Smith will also take over as president of Hatchet Publications, Inc., pending approval by The Hatchet’s Board of Directors.

    The Hatchet is an editorially and financially independent student newspaper serving the GW and Foggy Bottom community. The Associated Collegiate Press has named The Hatchet one of the 10 best four-year, non-daily college newspapers in the country for the last three years.

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    Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016 3:11 p.m.

    Join The Hatchet’s business team

    The Hatchet is more than an award-winning student newspaper. The Hatchet’s business team is an all-student group who ensures the paper has the revenue it needs to succeed.

    We are seeking motivated students with business or entrepreneurial experience for these positions, and are accepting applications immediately. Each role is open to undergraduate students and comes with unique responsibilities and a potential for promotions within the department. Working for The Hatchet’s business team gives you hands-on training and skills you can’t find in an ordinary internship.

    If you are interested, please email your resume to Business Manager Alex Melton: amelton@gwhatchet.com.

    Director of Business Development
    The Director of Business Development Position is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive internal and external marketing plan that would increase revenues and profits. This position is expected to uphold the mission and values established by the organization. This position manages the team of account representatives, providing guidance and support. This position reports to the business management team.
    – Work 10 hours per week in The Hatchet’s business office
    – Weekly meetings with business staff
    – Maintain advertising relationships with national advertising agencies
    – Develop sales leads and create ad sales incentives for new clients
    – Participate with editorial and business staff in refining online content strategies
    – Maintain and update media kit and marketing materials
    – Significantly broaden local retail advertising relationships with area bars, restaurants, and event organizers
    – Oversee the implementation of SalesForce software
    – Create and test new sales strategies and pricing formulas for new online and social media advertising products
    – Make sales, serving as an account representative
    – Demonstrates knowledge of and supports mission, vision, and policies and procedures of the organization
    – Current undergraduate student at GW
    – Business sales experience
    – Marketing experience
    – Excellent communications skills
    – Ability to think both creatively and strategically
    – Strong work ethic and ambition
    – Base salary plus commission

    Account Representatives
    Account Representatives generate revenue by developing market potential through forecasting, lead generation, qualification and closing sales, as well as by recommending new products and services. This position reports to the Director of Business Development, as well as the business management team.
    – Works three hours per week in The Hatchet’s business office
    – Pursues new advertising clients for the Hatchet through cold calling or onsite visits
    – Meets budgeted goals
    – Writes orders
    – Collects payment
    – Quotes rates
    – Writes contracts
    – Verifies placement/receipt of ad material
    – Trains in SalesForce software
    – Demonstrates knowledge of and supports mission, vision, and policies and procedures of the organization
    – Current undergraduate student at GW
    – Excellent communication skills
    – Strong work ethic and ambition
    – Commission

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    Monday, Dec. 21, 2015 9:28 p.m.

    Thank you for your support in 2015

    It has been a busy year at The Hatchet. We were there when the provost and counseling director stepped down. We’ve followed the major successes of the men’s basketball team, and we’ve watched national conversations about race play out at GW. Our editorial board has weighed in on big issues too – from Bill Cosby’s controversial honorary degree to campus shootings.

    All of our hard work is paying off. Over the summer, Washingtonian Magazine named us the city’s best college paper. And for the third year in a row, we earned an Associated College Press Newspaper Pacemaker award, the highest honor in college media. More than 1.2 million people have read our work this year alone, from all corners of the country (and the world).

    We’ve provided high-quality coverage of GW and D.C. for more than 100 years, training hundreds of young journalists along the way. But it certainly hasn’t been easy. As an entirely independent, nonprofit organization, we receive no funding from GW and rely on advertising revenue on people like you.

    So that’s where you can come in. If you care about the community we cover and believe in the award-winning work we do, please consider making a donation to support our efforts. Your tax-deductible donation will help keep our doors open in 2016 and beyond.

    Most importantly, thanks for reading. We couldn’t do what we do without you. From all of us at The Hatchet, happy holidays! We’ll see you in 2016.

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    Updated: Nov. 3, 2015 at 9:12 a.m.

    The Associated Collegiate Press awarded The Hatchet a 2015 Newspaper Pacemaker award on Saturday.

    The Pacemaker is one of the most prestigious awards in college journalism. It is the third year in a row that the paper has received the honor, which recognizes a year’s worth of in-depth reporting, eye-popping visuals and strong writing.

    The award recognizes work in the 2014-15 academic year, and is in the four-year, non-daily newspaper category. Former editor in chief Brianna Gurciullo led the paper that year, which was The Hatchet’s 111th volume.

    The Hatchet’s video team also picked up a second place award in the multimedia feature category for their “Faces of D.C.” project, which profiled District residents across all 9 wards.

    The Hatchet earned regional honors from the Society of Professional Journalists last spring for in-depth reporting and editorial cartooning. Former cartoonist Jay Fondin would go on to win at the national level for his cartoons. Vol. 111 was also recognized for its website, sports photography, breaking news reporting and staff editorials.

    The Hatchet took home the Newspaper Pacemaker in 2014 and 2013.

    Have you enjoyed The Hatchet’s work over the last year? Help us continue the tradition.

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