The Williams Record

Join the Record!

Information for Record Applicants — Spring 2022

Thank you for your interest in applying for The Williams Record, the College’s student-run newspaper since 1887! 

We’re hiring our 2022 editorial board, with editorial positions open in all of our sections, including news, features, opinions, arts, sports, visuals, web design, social media, and podcast. We’re also continuing to hire staff writers, photographers, and artists. 

If you’re interested in applying to join our editorial board as a section editor, please fill out the editorial board application here.

If you’re interested in applying for our staff program, please fill out the staff application here. (If you are already a staff member, you don’t need to fill this out.)

NOTE: If you apply to be an editor but are not offered a position, we will automatically consider the editorial application as your application for staff, so there’s no need to fill out the staff application as well.

Applications are due on Jan. 5 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Please see below for more information on what it means to be a section editor or staff member, why you should join the Record, and how to apply. 

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What’s the Record

We’re the College’s student-run newspaper, and our mission is to serve the College community by providing fair and independent reporting on issues and stories that matter. We publish a weekly issue during school weeks, as well as breaking news all year long. After a year of being online-only, we are back in print! We have a lovely office on the second floor of Paresky.

 

What’s the difference between being a section editor and a staff member? 

Section editors are members of the editorial board and have significantly more responsibilities than staff writers. They manage the day-to-day operation of their section, and pitch, edit, and coordinate stories. Section editors also participate in weekly all-board meetings. Absolutely no prior experience is necessary to apply to be a section editor! In recent years, roughly three-quarters of new editors have been first-years, many of whom had no prior experience working for the Record or in journalism.

Staff members produce content for their section as assigned by their section editors. They go through training at the beginning of the semester to learn journalism basics and attend weekly section meetings. If you are not interested in being an editor, but still want to get involved with a smaller time commitment, then you should apply for our staff program!

 

Why join the Record

Our reporting serves students, faculty, and staff at the College as well as alums and members of the Williamstown community. We are the only newspaper specifically covering Williamstown, so many people look to us for their local news. In the past year, we have expanded our reporting to include news about town government and have used our platform to push the College’s administration to make real change regarding issues such as student mental health and divestment. 

Our staff have created fake Tinder accounts, hiked in freezing weather before sunrise, interviewed people including members of Congress, a Grammy and Oscar award winner, Jeopardy! contestants, and more, all in the name of journalism. Recent Record alums have gone on to lead the Federal Trade Commission, and work at NPR, Boston Public Radio, and The Berkshire Eagle, among other news outlets. Also, you’ll get to know a great group of people (in our unbiased opinion), develop your writing skills, publish your work, and always stay on top of what’s going on at the College. 

 

What’s the application process? 

The editorial board application is due on Jan. 5 at 11:59 p.m. EST; you can find the application form here. After reviewing all the applications, we select applicants for interviews. During the interviews, which will be held between Jan. 7 and 9, a few members of the editorial board will ask you some questions specific to your first-choice section, as well as broader questions about how you’d contribute to the Record. After interviews are finished, we will send out notices to those who have been selected to join the board, and training will begin shortly after that. 

Please note that if you are not offered a position as an editor, we will automatically consider this application as your application for staff writer or artist, so there’s no need to fill out the staff application.

The staff writer application is also due on Jan. 5 at 11:59 p.m. EST. You can find the application form here. After reviewing the applications, which will include your preferences for the staff positions you’re applying for, we will send out notifications in mid-to-late January.

 

What does each section do? 

Please see below for descriptions of each of the sections, as well as a brief overview of the responsibilities that section editors and staff have. Print section editors are responsible for pitching, editing, and often writing articles in their respective sections. Print staff are responsible for writing regularly for their respective sections (excluding opinions).

 

News: 

The news section is dedicated to writing time-sensitive or investigative articles to keep the College community informed. Recent articles have reported on Title IX cases at the College, mental health among students, reproductive health care access at the College, and the working conditions in the dining halls

The news section also covers Williamstown and the Berkshires, including news from the Williamstown Select Board, town manager, and the Williamstown Police Department (WPD). Recent articles have included coverage about a national civil rights group calling for a WPD officer’s removal from the force, the election of North Adams’ first female mayor, and Select Board meeting recaps.

 

Opinions:

The opinions section prints op-eds, letters, and comics from members of the College community, as well as editorials written collectively by the Record board. Recent pieces in the section include an op-ed calling on the College to re-institute last year’s academic flexibility, letters to the editor in support of fossil fuel divestment, and an editorial calling for changes to Campus Safety Services patrolling policy. Opinions editors are responsible for soliciting, coordinating, and editing opinion pieces from the community, in addition to helping the board deliberate and write editorials. 

 

Features:

The features section is a catch-all section for people-centric pieces that aren’t time-sensitive. The features team has covered topics ranging from the College’s history to student research to hidden places on campus. Recent features articles were written about an unofficial “Sasha Student Union” formed by seven Sashas, social media influencers at the College, and a hidden library in a campus dorm.

 

Arts:

The arts section runs articles on anything artsy, from student music performances to local exhibits to movie reviews. This year, arts articles have ranged from the return of in-person performances to the role of art in protest. Recent arts articles include pieces investigating working conditions at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and interviewing acclaimed alum band Darlingside.

 

Sports:

The sports section covers athletic pursuits within the College community. The sports section has written about alums’ athletic achievements, the ways the pandemic affected varsity athletes, e-sports, and much more. Recent articles include investigations of the experiences of Black women on the women’s soccer team, the history of “the Walk” tradition at Homecoming, and funding issues for club sports.

 

Podcast:

The podcast, which comes out every two weeks, tells narrative stories through record interviews, ambient sound, and music. Past episodes have included interviews with students and IWS therapists about mental health, a feature on navigating the College as an undocumented student, and segments of professors and chaplains’ thoughts on finding gratitude and mindfulness at the College. Podcast editors are responsible for hosting and producing the podcast.

 

Photo:

Photos are an essential part of any newspaper. They can set the scene, convey emotion, and catch readers’ eyes. While most photos in the Record accompany articles, we also run photo series, which can be anything from the changing seasons of the College campus to cute photos of professors’ pets. Photo editors are responsible for coordinating each issue’s photos, assigning photos to staff photographers, and occasionally taking photos themselves. Staff photographers are responsible for regularly taking necessary photos for articles. 

 

Graphics:

The graphics team, like the photo team, works to make the Record more visually appealing. The graphics editor and graphics staff create infographics (graphs about enrollment data, diagrams of the cash flows of a secret frat, and so on) and illustrations (a visual representation of a student’s overwhelming coursework, for example) to accompany articles. Graphics editors are responsible for coordinating the issue’s graphics, assigning graphics to staff artists, and making graphics when necessary. Staff artists are responsible for regularly making graphics for articles.

 

Website:

The website is the place where many people read the paper, especially alums and families. The website was remodeled last spring, and we are looking to hire a web editor who can be trained by the outgoing web editor who worked on these changes. Web editors are responsible for working behind the scenes with the visuals team to make the experience of reading the Record online as smooth as possible. We are looking for web editors who have prior web design or programming experience.

 

Social media:

The social media team communicates the Record’s work through Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (follow us if you aren’t already!). Although we would love it if people checked williamsrecord.com religiously each Wednesday at the crack of dawn, we know that’s not how many people read our work. That’s where our social media team comes in. Social media editors are responsible for coordinating, designing, and uploading posts for 5–10 articles per week and for running the specialized One in Two Thousand and Opinions accounts. Our social media team also plays an important role in announcing breaking news. 

We hope that you consider applying for the Record, whether as an editor or as a staff member. We’re really glad we did. If you have any questions, please feel free to email any of us.

 

Sincerely,

Kitt Urdang (ksu1), editor-in-chief (spring 2022)

Bellamy Richardson (bcr1), managing editor (spring and fall 2022)

Tali Natter (tsn1), managing editor (spring 2022)

Cameron Pugh (ctp1), managing editor (fall 2022)