An update from the editor-in-chief

An+update+from+the+editor-in-chief

Hello, dear readers!

As editor-in-chief, I wanted to offer a transparent account of how things are going at The Cageliner two months into this unique school year, and clarify what you can expect going forward in terms of the amount, frequency, and type of content we will be posting.

Our number one priority entering this year was to not add an additional source of undue stress for any Cageliner members, myself included. In past years, part of what allowed us to publish full issues on a monthly basis was a fair amount of last-minute scrambling and increasingly urgent reminders to hit certain deadlines. The editorial board (opinions editor Abby Ross ‘21, copy editor Huit Blackmon ‘21, and myself) decided very early on that this was not a model we even wanted to try and replicate this year. One of the underrated benefits of in-person schooling is the informal communication it makes possible (for example, passing people in the hallways or tracking them down in the atrium). In a virtual setting, with Zoom and email as our only methods of checking in with writers, we had to adjust our expectations. 

We chose to relax a lot of the strictness of our “news cycle,” from pitches to draft deadlines to editing, knowing that this would likely reduce our output. In our minds, the mental health of our club’s members (as well as our own) was far more important than maximizing the volume of articles we could publish. What we didn’t foresee was what happens when articles come in one by one as individual writers are finishing up, rather than all at once in a panicked rush ahead of a deadline. Our established production process (going through final content and copy edits before publication) was set up to work best on a large tranche (to borrow a popular word from election season) of articles. An additional wrinkle was the fact that as we started anassing finished or near-finished articles, the stress of submitting early college applications was ramping up. And when that subsided, there was the small matter of a presidential election that took several days to be resolved. In other words, we hope that you, the readers, as well as the writers, forgive us for the delay. We eventually put our heads together, and we’re pleased with a newly adapted production strategy that should improve our efficiency and possibly boost our output slightly.

So here we are. We feel very good about the articles we’re publishing this week. In fact, one benefit of the delay is that we’re publishing more articles at one time that we normally would have in a single issue.  They span a range of topics, showcasing the variety and skill of our writing staff. They were written at various points in the last few weeks, so some things may be slightly out of date. Regardless, all the topics are still 100% newsworthy, and all the articles are well worth a read. 

So, in the immortal words of Hamilton’s King George, what comes next? Well, writers have pitched and are working on a decent number of new articles, including several post-election pieces. A reasonable hope would be to have those published by or around Thanksgiving. We also have one ongoing special project that we are very excited to share with you in the coming weeks as well. Basically, you can expect probably around ten articles every month or so for the foreseeable future (give or take a few). They might be in one batch, or two, or in more of a steady trickle. 

That said, this past week brought some real news. Burke is planning to bring back 6th and 9th graders as early as November 30th, and the rest of the students in late January. Other than the editor’s notes tacked on to finished articles and a new story being written on the topic (look for that soon!), that could mean a major change in the way clubs operate. Or it might not change at all. Either way, we’re going to keep trying our best to churn out content at a reasonable pace.

We hope you’ll monitor this website, as well as our Instagram account (@the.cageliner), so you know when articles go up. No matter how much nerdy joy we might get out of writing and/or editing, the readers are the reason we do this. So thank you for sticking with us!