STANWICH ROAD/REMOTE – June 5, 2020.
Dearest Students & Varied Readers:
Welcome to the first issue of The Stripe Chronicle, the official student news site of the Greenwich Country Day School Upper School!
Our news efforts come at a unique time in the history of our school, and actually in the history of history. During the pandemic and school and perhaps societal changes that seem to be resulting from 2020’s remote learning experience, screens and digital communication have gone from luxuries with adults telling teens to “put down your screens,” to necessities with adults telling us that screens hold our educations and our futures on those displays!
In a sense, The Stripe Chronicle is born out of the crucible of remote learning and social isolation; it is a gift of the moment to the GCDS school community: a place for student-developed information to flourish at a time when there’s no bulletin board at which to congregate and no Town Hall meeting into which to file.
An independent school newspaper is also critical to an institution which added a high school with lofty and wonderful ambitions as an institution of learning.
“It’s very important that our new newspaper has the opportunity to share the ideas, opinions and thoughts of our student journalists,” said Mr. Rohdie in his first statement to The Chronicle. “I also believe the paper should be able to share criticism of aspects of school life. ”
Is this news site censored by administration or communications? The answer is no.
Censorship would suggest that content can be arbitrarily rejected and revisions or re-calibration of legitimate content would not be allowed. The Chronicle’s standards allow for such re-submissions: in the unlikely event that something is deemed un-publishable, the writer/artist can resubmit a revised version to make the a legitimate point. Naturally, this can be interpreted in many ways, but the Potter Stewart standard of “knowing it when we see it” may hold nicely.
“Within a community we must adhere to certain rules of civility,” Mr. Rohdie explained. “It is not okay to criticize people directly or to spew hateful or racist speech.”
A team of educators, over several weeks, created a system (which can be found below) which creates reasonable sets of standards of ethics, practices, and norms while maintaining decorum.
“I think the new guidelines do a nice job of walking that fine line between community standards and journalistic expression,” Mr. Rohdie concluded.
We hope our readers will take the time to review the guidelines which have been established.
Dozens of students, listed below, contributed their time outside of their classwork to bring you the first-ever issue of The Chronicle before the first year of GCDS ends. The debate about launching was swayed by the need for a comfortable and reliable place to go for news and information, especially at a time when in-person sharing is limited. It took a Herculean effort: 141 emails were exchanged in the past ten days among 27 students – all volunteers – to produce over two dozen pieces of original content for the launch of Issue #1. This summer, the GCDS Summer Exploration course “Journalism Lab” intends to add content.
The Chronicle knows just how difficult social isolation can be and as such, we aim to bring you information, news, opinions, satire, art, entertainment, videography, and other forms of digital content to hopefully alleviate some of your daily stresses with our illustrious content provided by our own student body! This first issue will remain available, and summer will bring new content.
This fall, a journalism elective course will allow students to function as an Editorial Board and reporters/photographers for The Chronicle. However, for now, content is being added by volunteer writers in grades 9-12.
The Chronicle will focus primarily on student life and culture at the GCDS Upper School giving readers the inside scoop on issues from potential live grades to homework load to service opportunities and sports. While our goal is to provide readers with top-quality information and stories, we also promise our utmost respect to students as we hold ourselves to high and honest journalistic integrity. The journalism will be orange and black; never yellow.
We welcome our current students as readers, but also are excited to have GCDS alumni and families along for the ride. Contributions and ideas can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, parents and family members of the GCDS Upper School: we extend this warm welcome to you as well. You might be wondering what really is going on around your family member and we aim to give you that insight of their day-to-day life and any developments that might affect them in any way.
Once again, we – The Stripe Chronicle team – welcome you to what will become a lasting connection!
Jack Linardos (’21) & The Spring 2020 Chronicle Team – a special THANK YOU to all of them:
Sarafia Mughwai (’21)
David-Jared Matthews (’21)
Zach Sternberg (’22)
Ella Brahmst (’22)
Jay D’Ercole (’23)
Finn Hopmann (’22)
Cary Rivera (’20)
Camille Jordan (’22)
Max Konigsberg (’22)
Kayla Richards (’22)
Andrew Weindling (’22)
Devin Kwarula (’22)
Hugh Sherriff (’22)
Jackson Castelli (’22)
Tessa Loverro (’22)
Coco Motoyoshi (’22)
Ben Offit (’22)
Halsey Robinson (’22)
Allegra Peardon (’22)
Ben Shi (’22)
Jackson Castelli (’22)
Max Leininger (’22)
Kate Salomon (’22)
Charlotte Fisher (’22)
Georgia Mann (’22)
Maddie Godin (’20)
The following are our statements of audience, purpose and standards. These will guide editorial decisions and questions of validity in the future.
The GCDS Upper School newspaper site, The Stripe Chronicle hereinafter “The Chronicle,” aims to convey information, news, opinion, satire, art, entertainment, videography, and other forms of digital content to the Upper School student body, grades 9-12.
Primarily, this audience of GCDS 9-12th graders are meant to benefit from, contribute to, and seek out the newspaper site as a reflection and tool of their own information needs as a vibrant high school community of learners. This content is to be presented in a coherent and journalistically proper way, adhering to the values and standards of the GCDS community, handbook, and norms. Writers emanate from, and produce content for, the high school-aged audience attending GCDS.
The Chronicle also recognizes the broader GCDS community as a secondary audience, which includes younger students, parents, families, alumni, prospective students, local organizations and community groups, all of which may use The Chronicle as a source of information on student life and culture at GCDS Upper School.
The Chronicle’s purpose is to provide an authentic journalistic opportunity for students—including but not limited to news-reporting, opinion writing, photojournalism, cartoon and graphic art, videography, and other forms of expression in line with a school news site—in order to inform, reflect, enlighten, and imbue the Upper School student body with valid and vital information.
Our Standards and Guiding Principles
The Chronicle, through a journalism elective open to all high school grades, strives to provide comprehensive and factual reporting on the people, events, groups, activities and other parties at Greenwich Country Day School Upper School, GCDS’s other divisions, and greater Greenwich.
The Chronicle makes every attempt to cover the news with accuracy, honesty, and integrity.
The Chronicle aims to be impartial, fact-driven, and comprehensive in the coverage of our community and its members. We abide by journalistic ethical standards with regard to our reporting, writing, and the transmission of information by other means. Content which is satire, parody, criticism, and other forms of mockery may target concepts, ideas, philosophy, or broad-based commonly known notions but not individual students or groupings.
The Chronicle is uncensored but does allow for prior review by a predetermined group of diverse, journalistically-trained students in the course and facilitators (including the instructor and administration). If any material may detract from the purpose of the news site as stated above or violate the mission or norms of GCDS, publication can be denied. Content that is deemed to detract from the purpose would
violate principles of equity or non-discrimination
violate the physical or educational safety of another/others
damage our school or harm students by creating a distraction disproportionate to the issue as judged by the facilitators
create an inability for genuine learning, without giving a potentially aggrieved party an unyielding veto over content.
Therefore, in the event that material is not published due to any of these standards, a detailed explanation will be given to the interested parties by facilitators and/or the editorial board, and an opportunity will exist for addressing the concerns that may violate the standards. The news site will accept a new version of the material for re-submission.
The decisions of The Chronicle are made without regard to identity, race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, political ideology, citizenship, marital status, disability or any other discriminating basis prohibited by local, state or federal law.
The Chronicle is an open forum for the student body of GCDS Upper School and welcomes letters to the editor and other submissions, though primary writers and contributors of content will be enrolled in the journalism elective. Opinions in The Chronicle represent diverse views which are subject to editorial decisions made by its student-led Editorial Board.