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Letter from the Editor: The Evergreen Online is critical to a Greenhill journalist’s training.

The Evergreen Online initially had an exciting color scheme of purples, pinks, and greens. The website looked like a blog, with no structure whatsoever, and the links were broken on the page. Luckily, no one really got to see that stage because it was the first of many prototypes made in the summer of 2016.

The Evergreen Online officially launched on September 6, 2016. Before then, it had been fairly inactive since 2012. The 2016-2017 Editor-in-Chief and I began thinking about revamping the website in 2016 and I started working on it that summer, not really knowing what I was getting myself into. I had no website design or leadership experience prior so it took all summer to get a functioning website. We also went through three content management systems that school year alone (five in total) and I have all my powerpoints and staff lists to prove it.

To many, the initiative seemed unnecessary and the work put in seemed like a waste of time. After all, why bother creating a website when The Evergreen had an award-winning print newspaper?

I spent a lot of time in the past two years thinking about how we could attract traffic to the website. This is a vital, yet dangerous, part of The Evergreen Online. Initially, we began sacrificing the quality of our content to stay consistent on the website. When we switched to focusing on the quality of the content, our schedule became inconsistent because we were short-staffed. Two years later and I still have not mastered the balance between the quality of our content and the timeliness.

That is exactly why we need this website. This problem does not exist when we work on The Evergreen newspapers, but it is a real issue going around in journalism today. Our staff has to learn how to approach these issues so we become responsible journalists. The only way to learn is through practice.

The Evergreen Online allows high school students to have a taste of the current state of journalism, which is not just print newspapers. Online journalism gives reporters the freedom to tell the audience in a countless number of ways, from videos to Snapchat stories. However, especially with The Evergreen Online, reporters have far less time to put together a quality story. It is important that The Evergreen’s reporters get to practice these techniques and deadlines because this is the reality of journalism today.

The system I created today is not perfect, but that is the beauty of online journalism. The website will continue to evolve because each year brings different methods of storytelling, such as live streams and 360-degree videos. We must continue adapting our journalism curriculum and training journalists’ to use these techniques in a responsible manner. We need The Evergreen Online for that.

Thus, thank you, Greenhill, for supporting the initiative. Thank you to all The Evergreen advisors, past and present, for trusting me.

Thank you, Radhe, for being a part of The Evergreen Online staff before you had a title. Thank you, Zeenya, for starting Greenhill Today with me and saying yes when I kind of forced you into joining The Evergreen Online. Thank you, Sudeep, for putting in so much effort when you didn’t even get Fine Arts credit for it.

Thank you, The 2017-2018 Evergreen Online staff for all your passion. I can’t wait to see how this turns out next year.

Logging off,
Areeba Amer
Online Editor-in-Chief 2016-2018

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