Putting Out the Paper in a Pandemic
I was nervous at first. I didn't know how we would manage to put out the Foghorn online.
We had decided to continue producing USF’s student newspaper during the pandemic because the USF community needed something to keep us connected since we were suddenly spread all over the world.
Before the pandemic, our staff of 14 would spend hours together laying out the paper in our office on the fourth floor of University Center. But now we had no choice but to do everything remotely.
We held meetings on Zoom. We interviewed subjects over Zoom. We used texts and emails and phones and social media to stay connected. We tried to limit the number of Zoom meetings to avoid screen fatigue. We made a concerted effort to communicate, and we kept our production line running, with each of us performing one step so that the next person could carry on.
Our deadlines also changed. Since we were no longer printing physical copies of the Foghorn, we got an extra day to work on our stories each week. I think this helped us upgrade our work, along with slightly decreasing the stress that comes with deadlines.
Ultimately, though, it wasn’t the communication tools we used or the extra days added to our schedules that enabled us to put out 28 issues of the paper during the pandemic. It was our commitment. Even though we were miles apart from each other and from the Hilltop, we felt a responsibility to tell our readers about what was going on at USF in their absence and to continue to hold university administrators accountable for their actions.
Julian Sorapuru, a media studies major, is editor in chief of the San Francisco Foghorn.