After more than a yearlong process, the Veritas News—the voice of ENC students since 1933—is now online and digitally accessible with your NetID. Many people have wondered why the newspaper wasn’t online sooner.
“It started with moving the Veritas into a more substantial role under the English Department, and making it more academic,” explained Vice President of Student Development Dr. Vern Wesley.
“By doing that, it opened the door for better supervision—just better practices as far as a newspaper goes, and that opened the door to going online,” said Dr. Wesley.
A yearlong process, the first rough proposal to go online was submitted February 2, 2012 by then Editor-in-Chief Bruce Faulkner.
“There were obvious reasons not to have the newspaper online previous to creating Editing and Publishing,” said Faulkner.
Editing and Publishing is a class taught by professor Jonathan Fitzgerald—the adviser for the Veritas News. The class allows students the opportunity to see their work published in the Veritas, along with learning about and practicing journalism.
Faulkner explained that before Editing & Publishing was created, the newspaper had to start fresh each year with a new editor, and potentially a new adviser. The class gives the newspaper the continuity it needs year to year.
“[Professor] Fitzgerald is increasing the newspaper’s professionalism, from the [editor-in-chief] down to the writers, while letting them create their own vision and perspective,” concluded Faulkner.
After receiving feedback from Dr. Wesley, Faulkner prepared the first formal proposal to migrate the Veritas News online. Cody Shepard, current editor-in-chief, and Faulkner sat down with Dr. Wesley and SGA adviser Keri Lewis to discuss plans on how to move forward with the proposal.
A month after the first proposal was created, the editors created a mock online site to show the President’s Cabinet—the people who would ultimately approve or deny the proposal—what the Veritas would look like in this new medium.
In April of 2012, Shepard published an article in the Veritas about where the process of going online stood at the time. That same day, sophomore Chris White created a petition to demonstrate the desire of the student body to have their newspaper online. The request to take this petition down started a conversation with President Corlis McGee, who expressed that she wished the editors could have met with her face-to-face earlier.
“The petition didn’t necessarily help get us online, but it got the conversation started with the administration,” said Shepard.
Following a meeting with Dr. McGee, it was agreed that the proposal would be reviewed at the mid-June Cabinet meeting. In July, the Cabinet decided that they wanted the English Department to sign off on the proposal.
Professor Fitzgerald and Dr. Karen Henck approved the proposal and Shepard resubmitted it in late September.
In early November, the Veritas’ printer in New Jersey was affected by superstorm Sandy. Issue 5: Election 2012 was approved to be a one-time online-only issue.
“I hoped that the positive reaction to the online election issue would restart the conversation and help get us fully online,” said Shepard.
But, shortly after the release of this issue, Shepard was informed of additional concerns with the newly revised proposal. Using the stats and reactions to the online issue, Shepard created an addendum to the proposal, which he submitted with another revised proposal.
In the middle of January, Fitzgerald met with Provost Dr. Timothy Wooster to discuss what needed to happen before the proposal was brought to the President’s Cabinet.
With a few final revisions, Shepard updated the proposal and submitted it to Dr. Wooster to bring to the next day’s Cabinet meeting. The proposal was approved on February 5, 2013.
Informed on February 18 that the proposal was approved, Fitzgerald and Shepard met immediately with representatives from ITS to talk about a timetable for the website.
The first official online issue of the Veritas News was released March 13. The Veritas has released issues 9 and 10 online since that time.
“It did take a while,” said Dr. Wesley. “I like that [the Veritas is] online—it’s more competitive with what is actually happening in the newspaper world, because almost everything is online.”
Although the process took a while, Shepard is glad to have the newspaper online now.
“Looking back, I understand why the Cabinet was concerned with the quality of the newspaper. In one year, though, we’ve gone from the Cabinet being worried about the quality to winning an honorable mention for New England College Newspaper of the Year,” said Shepard.
“At this point, I’m just glad the newspaper is online in any format. We’ll continue to try to move forward to have the most ideal setup possible for the online newspaper,” concluded Shepard.