by Leela B. ’19 and Esther R. ’19, Tatler 2018-19 editors-in-chief
A few dozen hardy souls made the trek to the basement of Pigott on the eve of the first day of school. Their faces resolute, they entered, minds churning, pen and paper at the ready. While seemingly unremarkable to the untrained eye, these individuals were not only Lakeside students, but also journalists, photographers, and designers, ready to retreat from the world for a whole day of journalism!
This Tatler retreat, the first of its kind, endeavored to turn a group of people who were all interested in journalism into a group of Tatlerites: a community of students dedicated to truth-seeking and question-chasing, deeply bonded in our mission to create an issue every month. That is, the 20-page paper kind of an issue, complete with graphics and gossip. Tatlerites tackled overarching questions about journalism—what are the qualities of a good article, what are the qualities of an article people want to read, and where do those intersect—through reading old Tatler issues and examining other forms of public media such as magazines, newspapers, and even the Higher Ed Chronicle Almanac. This retreat, including all activities, was completely student-run, and editors chatted with staff members and the group embarked on many journeys together to debate and discuss what we wanted from student journalism.
One such discussion revolved around the topic of editing. To get Tatlerites thinking about the editing process, we (the editors-in-chief) wrote an egregiously awful article, one that spoke of its characters with condescension and abused the comma. The room was buzzing with feedback as young journalists volunteered suggestions: add actual data!; what about interviewing someone knowledgeable?; could you just rewrite the whole thing?
While the retreat was the first time many Tatlerites had seen each other face-to-face since June, it was not the first time they had corresponded—Tatler was already hard at work on the September issue. At the retreat, Tatlerites formulated tips for surviving Lakeside and joked about new columns, making the September issue a testament not to nagging emails about deadlines, but to camaraderie.
Even after our official all-staff retreat ended, the leadership team stayed on for extra discussion and brainstorming. The culmination of all this effort, the September issue, came out on Wednesday, Sept. 12th. We are excited to make Tatler a place for fresh features, opposing opinions, and of course, scintillating scoops this year--in short, we aim to capture life at Lakeside for the people here!