About two weeks ago we entered the Office of Student Media and were met with a newsroom that appeared to be ready for its section editors, graphic designers, photographers and other staff to return from the 2020 spring break. It was saddening yet exciting, humbling and moving. As we dusted off computer monitors and reorganized AP Style books, we reflected on the past eighteen months. We are impressed that despite not having access to a physical newsroom, student journalists were able to continue covering Mason news. This year, it is our responsibility to continue this coverage, and it is a true privilege to be able to do that with our staff in-person.
Like many of you, we are excited that Mason is transitioning back to a more normal semester, with more classes in-person and more students on campus. Despite this transition, COVID-19 cases are still on the rise, and things are still constantly changing (like us relearning how to maneuver through a physical newsroom again). We are committed to covering changing circumstances as they develop. Journalists are to adapt to changing circumstances and student journalists are no different.
With this being said, we have made the decision to transition the Fourth Estate into a 100 percent online publication. This was not an easy decision to make, however, it was one that made the most sense in many different respects. College and professional publications alike have increased their online platform, with some even making the same transition as we are. This is a positive change for us, but one that will challenge us to readapt to a “new normal,” much like the past 18 months have forced us all to do.
Though our newsstands will be empty, our dedication to covering Mason events and topics remain.
You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any tips, questions, qualms or concerns. Stay safe out there, Patriots, and don’t forget to wear your mask (and stay up to date with the Fourth Estate)!
Lianna Brown and Sami Gibbs, Co-Editors-In-Chief