CULTURE
Introduction to the Review
by Gordon Kamer
2015-12-09 08:00:00
Why does The Brunswick School Review exist? How did it come to being? Here's an attempt at explaining the function it serves in the school as well as giving some narrative of how it was formed.

Sophomoric, def: suggestive of or resembling the traditional sophomore; intellectually pretentious, overconfident, conceited, etc., but immature:

If you take a look at our list of staff members in the very front of the paper, you'll see an overwhelming majority of sophomores among the ranks. That fact may be true because I, the catalyst behind the operation, am a sophomore, and therefore I've attracted a lot of sophomores to join. That's probably the simplest and most logical explanation. However, the idea exists that a sophomore started the paper and subsequently sophomores joined because we have only seen one year of school publications. We're less tolerant and knowing of the natural ups and downs of The Chronicle than juniors or seniors, yet we have already been disappointed with a year of the school’s paper. Perhaps, because last year's edition was subpar, The Review was born from overreaction - ignorance to the existing paper's history of excellence. Maybe there's no justification of or room for a new paper. That could be true.

The question has been asked, "Why don't they just write for The Chronicle?"

I believe that question stems from a misunderstanding of the original purpose of The Review. "Why did they start The Review in the first place?" That's perhaps a better guided question.

First things first: The Review is nothing new. Brunswick has a history of competing papers. In 1902, the school’s first paper, The Brunswick Record, was founded. After a number of years, The Record devolved from a bi-monthly newspaper to essentially a yearbook containing sports previews as well as menial, filler articles. After that paper fizzled, we can see evidence of The Brunswick Bee, and after some time the school eventually invested in a school paper: The Brunswickian. The Brunswickian was a good, well funded paper. Not before long, The Brunswickian had split in two, and eventually, The Brunswick Opinion was the only Brunswick School paper. Entering the 21st century, Brunswick decided to consolidate under The Brunswick Chronicle. The most recent alternative paper was The Free Press, which had very little connection to the school, but was in part funded by the Student Council. Although I’d like to say I’ve covered it all, that assumption would be incorrect. The history of Brunswick papers is incredibly diverse and multifaceted.

While The Chronicle may be a more direct heir from the original Record, time and time again the emergence of an alternative paper serves to keep the established paper in check. And, time and time again, we see that students have very short memories. Many students who urged the creation of The Brunswickian had written that there had been no previous journalistic history in the school since the school’s inception; through records, we know this to be false. But: our time at Brunswick is short. A few years of uninspired editors could ruin many classes’ worth of newspapers.

Now, I’d be lying to you if I said that The Review emerged as a wholesome effort to have some sort of corrective force to make the school’s publications better; it just happens to work out that way. The idea of The Review really began with the thought, “I can make a better one.” Some of my friends and I sat looking at every flaw in The Chronicle, thinking up ways of how we would do things differently. We had all at points tried writing for The Chronicle, but it was clear that the culture on the sorts of articles that would be published was not what we were looking for. In the end, we wanted to have fun. We wanted to make something - we wanted to write it ourselves, design it ourselves, and print it ourselves. We had dreams of alternative ways to distribute the paper, different promotions the paper could run, and a myriad of other things that we could do. We wanted to make a new paper and a new culture.

Why are there school newspapers anyways? The reasons a school might have a newspaper vary greatly. One could argue that a school newspaper serves to inform students and faculty of the goings-on of the school. Another might say a paper displays the writing abilities of the students. Still another might say that school newspapers help students learn to operate as teams and work towards a goal. Regardless, peripheral attempts at student journalism achieve the goals of a school newspaper without defeating the purpose of an existing paper. In fact, entirely student organized and student founded papers may teach organizational skills better than a paper that has more attachment to the school because of the increased responsibility and accountability of its members.

The Review, as everything turned out, is very distinct from The Chronicle. Firstly, it’s a magazine. That probably seems obvious to you right now. We call ourselves a newspaper for the same reason The Economist calls itself a newspaper. In addition to a physical difference, the actual content differs from The Chronicle a great deal. The Review has been from the beginning opinionated, more so than The Chronicle, and almost exclusively so. Its existence of being an opinion magazine both distinguishes it from the existing paper as well as stays true to the original idea. A medium for expressing students’ opinions, thoughts, and feelings on any number of topics is a good evolution of Brunswick’s publications and a good thing in general.

The specific history of the creation of The Review can be traced back to this past summer. In August, I began emailing around to gauge interest in a paper. Immediately, I found support. After talking to Keshav Raghavan, the managing editor of The Chronicle and the first person to hear about the untitled school newspaper, I took action to start what would become The Brunswick Review. The people I had talked to and I agreed that there was a place for a more opinionated paper in the school that would focus on primarily out of school topics such as politics, the economy, and current events. We agreed that an opinionated paper would be fun to make, fun to read, and a strong addition to an already impressive list of student publications, if not as long-lasting as some of them. So I contacted our now Faculty Adviser, Mr. Berrier, and after an enthusiastic reply, we began planning the details.

First was the issue of funding. How would the paper get the money it needs to be published in print? The initial course of action was to meet with the Student Council about potential school funds being allocated for the fledgling paper. You may ask, is it in the school’s interest to put money towards a few students’ fun? Does the school have any business paying for The Review? After talking with the Student Council for roughly five minutes, I was sent an email that told me the decision was being passed to higher powers at the school, but the idea was thrown out there that The Review would exist only in a digital format. Personally, I believed that relegating the paper to obscurity as something no one would read in a pdf would be unfair to the writers and would be a waste of time on our part. To whom exactly the council’s memo was sent I still don’t really know, but eventually I spoke to a few people and was able to piece together what had happened at these discussions. Concerns were raised as to whether or not the paper would be “anti-wick.” The idea that the paper is in any way, shape, or form an anti-school newspaper is absurd. In any case, you might think I know exactly what the result of my meeting was with the Student Council. In reality, I have no idea what the full story is, and I’m not going to pretend to know. But, I can say with certainty that the paper was not welcomed and was not granted direct school funding at that time.

And so I was asked to talk to The Chronicle about a possible merger. Obviously this idea of my friends and I simply writing for The Chronicle was brought up at every turn, and my being urged to negotiate with Dr. Freeman (The Chronicle’s faculty adviser) was at the very least inspired by that idea. I didn’t like this idea, especially at first. The very identity and purpose of The Review was to be its own paper, designed, edited, and crafted by a new set of people. I could have still done that; I would simply pay for printing myself. After at least four different meetings, some earlier in the morning than others, we reached an agreement that satisfied the school’s desire to have oversight over the paper, the issue of funding, and my desire for as much independence as possible that would ensure the quality of Brunswick’s papers as well as stay true to the original idea of The Review.

But, as soon as that agreement had appeared to manifest itself, we decided that through our discussions we had discovered that my initial goal to create a separate entity was actually more logical. We were able to better outline the identity of The Review and, I think, of The Chronicle. So, we agreed to something else: that The Brunswick Review would be its own opinion magazine with a good, non-competitive relationship with The Brunswick Chronicle. The paper would also have funding from Student Publications, the school’s pool of funds dedicated to its namesake. After a brief meeting with Mr. Philip preceded by emails from Mr. Berrier, we were able to secure funding for our fledgling paper and get official recognition of its right to exist.

And thus is The Brunswick Review. Forged in stubbornness and early sounding alarm clocks, The Review is essentially the opinion magazine of the school. We believe that this agreement is the best solution to the problems presented by Brunswick: the school has some oversight over The Review, The Review is now funded, and The Review will serve to increase the quality of the school’s papers - not degenerate it.

Finally, back to the idea of the sophomore. The Review was founded by sophomores - a bunch of overconfident, pretentious, and immature sixteen year-olds who thought a little too highly of their idea. How in the world this thing is actually being published is an utter mystery to me. But then again, so are a lot of things. Hopefully we’ve started something that may today be the product of a bunch of sophomores, but tomorrow an engine towards progress in learning at Brunswick School.

Maybe we’ve just created something fun.



Introduction to the Review

Sophomoric, def: suggestive of or resembling the traditional sophomore; intellectually pretentious, overconfident, conceited, etc., but immature:

If you take a look at our list of staff members in the very front of the paper, you'll see an overwhelming majority of sophomores among the ranks. That fact may be true because I, the catalyst behind the operation, am a sophomore, and therefore I've attracted a lot of sophomores to join. That's probably the simplest and most logical explanation. However, the idea exists that a sophomore started the paper and subsequently sophomores joined because we have only seen one year of school publications. We're less tolerant and knowing of the natural ups and downs of The Chronicle than juniors or seniors, yet we have already been disappointed with a year of the school’s paper. Perhaps, because last year's edition was subpar, The Review was born from overreaction - ignorance to the existing paper's history of excellence. Maybe there's no justification of or room for a new paper. That could be true.

The question has been asked, "Why don't they just write for The Chronicle?"

I believe that question stems from a misunderstanding of the original purpose of The Review. "Why did they start The Review in the first place?" That's perhaps a better guided question.

First things first: The Review is nothing new. Brunswick has a history of competing papers. In 1902, the school’s first paper, The Brunswick Record, was founded. After a number of years, The Record devolved from a bi-monthly newspaper to essentially a yearbook containing sports previews as well as menial, filler articles. After that paper fizzled, we can see evidence of The Brunswick Bee, and after some time the school eventually invested in a school paper: The Brunswickian. The Brunswickian was a good, well funded paper. Not before long, The Brunswickian had split in two, and eventually, The Brunswick Opinion was the only Brunswick School paper. Entering the 21st century, Brunswick decided to consolidate under The Brunswick Chronicle. The most recent alternative paper was The Free Press, which had very little connection to the school, but was in part funded by the Student Council. Although I’d like to say I’ve covered it all, that assumption would be incorrect. The history of Brunswick papers is incredibly diverse and multifaceted.

While The Chronicle may be a more direct heir from the original Record, time and time again the emergence of an alternative paper serves to keep the established paper in check. And, time and time again, we see that students have very short memories. Many students who urged the creation of The Brunswickian had written that there had been no previous journalistic history in the school since the school’s inception; through records, we know this to be false. But: our time at Brunswick is short. A few years of uninspired editors could ruin many classes’ worth of newspapers.

Now, I’d be lying to you if I said that The Review emerged as a wholesome effort to have some sort of corrective force to make the school’s publications better; it just happens to work out that way. The idea of The Review really began with the thought, “I can make a better one.” Some of my friends and I sat looking at every flaw in The Chronicle, thinking up ways of how we would do things differently. We had all at points tried writing for The Chronicle, but it was clear that the culture on the sorts of articles that would be published was not what we were looking for. In the end, we wanted to have fun. We wanted to make something - we wanted to write it ourselves, design it ourselves, and print it ourselves. We had dreams of alternative ways to distribute the paper, different promotions the paper could run, and a myriad of other things that we could do. We wanted to make a new paper and a new culture.

Why are there school newspapers anyways? The reasons a school might have a newspaper vary greatly. One could argue that a school newspaper serves to inform students and faculty of the goings-on of the school. Another might say a paper displays the writing abilities of the students. Still another might say that school newspapers help students learn to operate as teams and work towards a goal. Regardless, peripheral attempts at student journalism achieve the goals of a school newspaper without defeating the purpose of an existing paper. In fact, entirely student organized and student founded papers may teach organizational skills better than a paper that has more attachment to the school because of the increased responsibility and accountability of its members.

The Review, as everything turned out, is very distinct from The Chronicle. Firstly, it’s a magazine. That probably seems obvious to you right now. We call ourselves a newspaper for the same reason The Economist calls itself a newspaper. In addition to a physical difference, the actual content differs from The Chronicle a great deal. The Review has been from the beginning opinionated, more so than The Chronicle, and almost exclusively so. Its existence of being an opinion magazine both distinguishes it from the existing paper as well as stays true to the original idea. A medium for expressing students’ opinions, thoughts, and feelings on any number of topics is a good evolution of Brunswick’s publications and a good thing in general.

The specific history of the creation of The Review can be traced back to this past summer. In August, I began emailing around to gauge interest in a paper. Immediately, I found support. After talking to Keshav Raghavan, the managing editor of The Chronicle and the first person to hear about the untitled school newspaper, I took action to start what would become The Brunswick Review. The people I had talked to and I agreed that there was a place for a more opinionated paper in the school that would focus on primarily out of school topics such as politics, the economy, and current events. We agreed that an opinionated paper would be fun to make, fun to read, and a strong addition to an already impressive list of student publications, if not as long-lasting as some of them. So I contacted our now Faculty Adviser, Mr. Berrier, and after an enthusiastic reply, we began planning the details.

First was the issue of funding. How would the paper get the money it needs to be published in print? The initial course of action was to meet with the Student Council about potential school funds being allocated for the fledgling paper. You may ask, is it in the school’s interest to put money towards a few students’ fun? Does the school have any business paying for The Review? After talking with the Student Council for roughly five minutes, I was sent an email that told me the decision was being passed to higher powers at the school, but the idea was thrown out there that The Review would exist only in a digital format. Personally, I believed that relegating the paper to obscurity as something no one would read in a pdf would be unfair to the writers and would be a waste of time on our part. To whom exactly the council’s memo was sent I still don’t really know, but eventually I spoke to a few people and was able to piece together what had happened at these discussions. Concerns were raised as to whether or not the paper would be “anti-wick.” The idea that the paper is in any way, shape, or form an anti-school newspaper is absurd. In any case, you might think I know exactly what the result of my meeting was with the Student Council. In reality, I have no idea what the full story is, and I’m not going to pretend to know. But, I can say with certainty that the paper was not welcomed and was not granted direct school funding at that time.

And so I was asked to talk to The Chronicle about a possible merger. Obviously this idea of my friends and I simply writing for The Chronicle was brought up at every turn, and my being urged to negotiate with Dr. Freeman (The Chronicle’s faculty adviser) was at the very least inspired by that idea. I didn’t like this idea, especially at first. The very identity and purpose of The Review was to be its own paper, designed, edited, and crafted by a new set of people. I could have still done that; I would simply pay for printing myself. After at least four different meetings, some earlier in the morning than others, we reached an agreement that satisfied the school’s desire to have oversight over the paper, the issue of funding, and my desire for as much independence as possible that would ensure the quality of Brunswick’s papers as well as stay true to the original idea of The Review.

But, as soon as that agreement had appeared to manifest itself, we decided that through our discussions we had discovered that my initial goal to create a separate entity was actually more logical. We were able to better outline the identity of The Review and, I think, of The Chronicle. So, we agreed to something else: that The Brunswick Review would be its own opinion magazine with a good, non-competitive relationship with The Brunswick Chronicle. The paper would also have funding from Student Publications, the school’s pool of funds dedicated to its namesake. After a brief meeting with Mr. Philip preceded by emails from Mr. Berrier, we were able to secure funding for our fledgling paper and get official recognition of its right to exist.

And thus is The Brunswick Review. Forged in stubbornness and early sounding alarm clocks, The Review is essentially the opinion magazine of the school. We believe that this agreement is the best solution to the problems presented by Brunswick: the school has some oversight over The Review, The Review is now funded, and The Review will serve to increase the quality of the school’s papers - not degenerate it.

Finally, back to the idea of the sophomore. The Review was founded by sophomores - a bunch of overconfident, pretentious, and immature sixteen year-olds who thought a little too highly of their idea. How in the world this thing is actually being published is an utter mystery to me. But then again, so are a lot of things. Hopefully we’ve started something that may today be the product of a bunch of sophomores, but tomorrow an engine towards progress in learning at Brunswick School.

Maybe we’ve just created something fun.