The Williams Record

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Information for Record Applicants — Spring 2021

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

We’re hiring our 2021 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, artists, and videographers. 

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 writer 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 writer or artist, so there’s no need to fill out the staff application as well.

Applications are due on Jan. 5 at 5 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 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. This year, we’re online only because of COVID, but we hope to get back into print next fall. We have a lovely office on the second floor of Paresky; its balcony overlooking Maud’s house is a great place to get socially distanced lunch with friends.

 

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

There isn’t a more important time to get involved with student journalism. With a constantly changing public health situation, upheaval in town government and a completely different year from any we’ve seen before Williams, now is an especially vital time to inform students, faculty and staff and hold those in power accountable.

Our staff have created fake Tinder accounts, interviewed congressional candidates and Bachelorette contestants, hiked in freezing weather before sunrise, and more, all in the name of journalism. Recent Record alums have gone on to work at NPR and The Berkshire Eagle, among other 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 Williams. 

 

What’s the application process? 

The editorial board application is due on Jan. 5 at 5 p.m. EST; you can find the application form here. After reviewing all the applications, we will send out interview requests. During the interviews, which will be held over Zoom between Jan. 9 and 11, the leadership team and one other board member 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 commence shortly after that. (We’ll do our best to work around your schedule so that you can still join the board if you are doing a winternship or are in a totally different time zone.)

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 5 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. 

 

News: 

The news section is dedicated to writing time-sensitive or investigative articles to keep the Williams community informed. Recent articles have reported on WPD misconduct, enforcement of COVID guidelines, an affidavit signed by a Williams professor alleging election fraud, a secret fraternity, election returns in the Berkshires, issues facing quarantined students, and more. News editors are responsible for pitching, editing, and often writing articles in the section. News staff are responsible for writing regularly for the section.

We’re hiring:

-2 editors who will focus on College news

-1 editor who will focus on news affecting Williamstown and the Berkshires

-Several staff writers

 

Opinions:

The opinions section prints op-eds, letters, and comics from members of the Williams community, as well as editorials written collectively by the Record board. (We define “Williams community” broadly; last year we ran an op-ed by David Ige, the governor of Hawai‘i.) Recent pieces in the section include an op-ed on what it means to be Puerto Rican and therefore ineligible to vote in the presidential election, a letter from a statistics professor disavowing a colleague’s “inaccurate, wrong and unfounded” analysis of election security, and an editorial calling for the removal of the WPD chief. Opinions editors are responsible for soliciting, coordinating, and editing opinion pieces from the community, in addition to helping the board deliberate and write editorials. Opinions staff are responsible for writing regularly for the section.

We’re hiring:

-2 editors

-Several columnists who will write regular op-eds

 

Features:

The features section is tricky to define, but we like to think of it as people-centric pieces that aren’t time-sensitive. But that’s a mouthful, so we just call it features. The features team has covered topics ranging from Williams history to student research to the difficulties facing remote students. Features editors are responsible for pitching, editing, and sometimes writing articles in the section. Features staff are responsible for writing regularly for the section.

We’re hiring:

-2 editors

-Several staff writers

 

Arts:

The arts section runs articles on anything artsy, from student music performances to local exhibits to movie reviews. This year, many arts articles have focused on ways that the Williams community continues to create art despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. Arts editors are responsible for pitching, editing, and sometimes writing articles in the section. Arts staff are responsible for writing regularly for the section.

We’re hiring:

-2 editors

-Several staff writers

 

Sports:

The sports section covers athletic pursuits within the Williams community. Because varsity sports are canceled for the winter and potentially spring semesters, the sports section has had to get creative. It has written about alums’ athletic achievements, the ways the pandemic affects varsity athletes, e-sports, and much more. Sports editors are responsible for pitching, editing, and sometimes writing articles in the section. Sports staff are responsible for writing regularly for the section.

We’re hiring:

-2 editors

-Several staff writers

 

Podcast:

The podcast, which comes out every two weeks, features stories that work best in an audio format. Past episodes have included interviews with Record reporters to contextualize articles they’ve just published, discussions with community leaders about the meaning of Hispanic Heritage Month, and advice from the Class of 2020. Podcast editors are responsible for hosting and producing the podcast.

We’re hiring:

-2 editors

 

Video:

Our video team captures the stories of Williams in video format. This will be our second semester doing video content, so if you’re interested in video production, the staff videographer position is somewhat up to interpretation. They will have the freedom to pitch and produce videos and documentaries on news, features, opinion pieces, and other ideas of their choosing. The staff videographer will be responsible for helping the video editor film and produce projects. 

We’re hiring:

-1 staff videographer

 

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 a great way to capture the strangeness of pandemic times. Photo editors are responsible for coordinating each issue’s photos, assigning photos to staff photographers, and taking photos when necessary. Staff photographers are responsible for regularly taking necessary photos for articles. (All photos are taken with proper distancing and masking — we will never ask you to put yourself at risk.)

We’re hiring:

-1 photo editor

-Several staff photographers

 

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 Zoom class, for example) to accompany articles. The graphics editor is 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.

We’re hiring:

-1 graphics editor

-Several staff artists

 

Website:

The website is more crucial than ever: Because we’re not producing print editions of the Record, the website is the place where people read the paper. We’re in the process of updating our website’s platform, so web editors will have an especially large role this semester in helping design the new online layout of the newspaper. Web editors are responsible for working behind the scenes and with the visuals team to make the experience of reading the Record online as smooth as possible. It is recommended that you either have prior web design or programming experience.

We’re hiring:

-1 editor

 

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 EST, 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. Our social media team also plays an important role in announcing breaking news in the time before we can put out an article. 

We’re hiring:

-1 editor

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,

Kevin Yang (kzy1), editor-in-chief 

Irene Loewenson (ibl1), managing editor

Joey Fox (jmf5), managing editor

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