Standards Editor: The State of the RamPage – September 2022

The RamPage Logo, Courtesy of The RamPage

Disclosure: Isaiah Steinberg is the current News Editor of the RamPage.

With the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year and the recruitment of new writers, the RamPage must maintain the journalistic standards it upholds. This article will be the first of several Standards Editor articles this year critiquing the RamPage in hopes of pushing its writers to produce relevant and well-written content.

Featuring four articles thus far, the News section is shaping up to be one of the more prolific sections of the RamPage this year. The section has done well to update J-DHS students on pertinent topics for the student population such as the one-to-one Chromebook rollout. However, the section has only produced articles by two writers. As new writers are trained as journalists, more writers should be represented in the News section. Additionally, the section has moved away from simple interview-style articles in favor of more in-depth features, which is a welcome shift. The News section should have covered major events such as the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the investigations into Former President Donald Trump. As the year progresses, the section should feature more local and national news to supplement its coverage of school-specific events and initiatives.

The Culture section contains only one new article. The “Severance” review is well-written and thorough. However, the Culture section has missed key cultural events such as Harry Styles’s new album, the new Star Wars “Andor” show, and “Game of Thrones” prequel “House of the Dragon.” With details forthcoming on this year’s J-DHS musical and Drama Club shows, and the constant releases of new TV shows and movies, there exists an opportunity to entice new writers into the sporadic section.

Opinion articles in the RamPage have historically been extremely in-depth and infrequent. This year, two opinion articles have been published. While it’s too early to conclude that the Opinion section has dropped the ball compared to last year, publication of new articles has slowed thanks to the lack of an Opinion Editor. The section could be poised for success, with many writers expressing good ideas for Opinion articles. However, there have been a few errors with grammar and quotations. Although this is a minor gripe, the RamPage article approval pipeline should eliminate such errors. Because there are so many subjective topics in the world, the Opinion section should encourage further contribution that will foster important discussions of various policies.

Astute RamPage readers may have noticed that due to the year-long decline of the quality and frequency of the Sports section, sports-related articles have been consolidated into the Lifestyle section. But this is not the only change to the section. In place of co-editor positions for the section, the Lifestyle section is now broken into separate categories with editors for each subcategory: Fashion and Food, Clubs and Activities, Profiles, and Sports. The Profiles and Sports subsections currently lack editors. However, this gap has not stopped the Lifestyle section from publishing five articles in the past month. Due to the breadth of the topics covered under Lifestyle, this section has lots of potential for frequent articles. The section has yet to publish any profiles, sports articles, or fashion articles this year, but the editors still have time to craft a winning section. None of the articles thus far have been particularly in-depth, and two have been interview-style articles. The Lifestyle section should ramp up the section’s output and quality to reflect the diversity of topics it covers.

The RamPage has only been publishing for under a month for this school year. However, it has published 11 articles up to this point. To maintain its current trajectory and strengthen its prospects for the future, the RamPage must increase participation from its younger staff writers and train them to become future editors. Furthermore, the paper should seek to fill its plethora of empty editor positions by encouraging experienced writers to contribute more often. On a positive note, Editor-in-Chief Sophia Caputo has stepped up and done an amazing job so far in her new role, engaging new writers in an effort to retain them for the whole year. With eight months remaining in the school year, the RamPage has time to ramp up its article output to cover as many important topics as possible.

Isaiah Steinberg, '23
Isaiah Steinberg is a senior at J-DHS. He is the Standards Editor and News Editor for the RamPage. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with friends, playing with his half-brother, or sleeping.