Editor’s Corner

Poly plane flies once again

Editor in Chief discusses quality, staff improvements, website

You may have read in some of this fall semester’s issues of The Poly that we, The Poly, were going under, struggling to stay aloft, clinging onto our seat cushion turned floatation device, and yanking on our oxygen mask and hoping the bag would inflate (even though, regardless, oxygen is flowing).

Well, it was true. Before that, we were, for a while—many, many years ago—cruising at 35,000 feet. At some point, we lost an engine, two engines, cabin pressure, and more, and we slowly started losing elevation. But we switched out our captain (who wasn’t the problem, mind you … it was more the engineering of the plane), and we made great strides. Former Editor in Chief Spencer Posson ’14 worked wonders in terms of staffing and enthusiasm. We went from losing two high-seniority members to gaining over five new editors. In addition to those five, we’ve been refueled in midair, taking on amazing numbers of new writers, reporters, and coordinators.

I’m proud to say that today, The Polytechnic is gaining altitude and speed once again. Through close collaboration with the Rensselaer Union, RPI Athletics, campus administration, and other media outlets, we plan and strive to continue this upward trend (and yes, that was a continuation of my extended metaphor). We’ve been working with those organizations to provide better and clearer news, and we are incorporating new features into our reporting. Elements we are trying to push include live updates—specifically tweets—from various events, including large campus exhibitions and sporting events; more photo- and graphic-heavy pages, which are easier to digest than pure text; and increase web presence on Twitter, Facebook, and our soon-to-be-released improved website. All of these features will make for a better paper for you, our passengers.

But who pays for the paper? You don’t, as you know, because we distribute for free. Our primary revenue stream (well, all of it, except for a few subscriptions) is from advertisers. This is also a place where we’ve improved and continue to improve. Although our advertising director is going on a co-op hiatus, he has transitioned his position seamlessly to another staff member. In addition to that, we have picked up two new advertising coordinators, who will assist in communication between The Poly and advertisers or their agencies and placing ads in the paper. The three of them have already worked tirelessly—including throughout Thanksgiving Break—to attract advertising clients and solidify plans for next semester. Because of their efforts, it is extremely likely that we go back to our normal, weekly printing schedule in the spring. (Update: The decision has, in fact, been made to switch back to a weekly printing schedule. Contact poly@rpi.edu for more details.)

I’ll be frank: I love The Poly. I love the people involved, I love the skills it utilizes and enhances, and I love the fact that I can be working my butt off one night—on my own and navigating for those flying by the seat of their pants—and less than 12 hours later, see the finished product, printed and distributed across campus for all to see, read, and be entertained and informed by. The satisfaction is something you get hooked on, like flying first class, because, let’s face it, if you got one of those hot towels or chocolate truffles, or if you got food served to you on real china plates, you would never want to go back to coach. The Poly is cleared for takeoff, and I intend to take it to new heights.