Catherine Zhang: Why I Chronicle

You can also play a large role in the Chronicle (if you want) while STILL maintaining a social life, being a part of other student groups, and working a stable job, like myself. (This is pretty much what my social life looks like)

Why do I Chronicle? To be a part of a team of dedicated, passionate individuals participating in a student group that ultimately does not suck you in. 

Let me tell you a few more relevant details about myself. For a lot of the academic year, I had a slight interest in journalism. The Chronicle allowed me to test my writing skills with all sorts of writing forms, whether it be a basic news piece about the annual Drag Show, or a highly opinionated article about Northwestern’s Greek life.

Yet I was able to set my own deadline, write on my own schedule, and produce pieces at my own comfort level. Editors and writers at the Chronicle pitch each other story ideas, with no one to breathe down your back.

My involvement with the Chronicle has made my time here worthwhile. The collection of my contributions to this deep-rooted publication varies in style and content. Some articles are insightful, relatable pieces for first-years, others are hardcore food reviews, and others are crude news pieces that I spend hours on, only to have simple corrections and improvements pointed out to me.

But without that back-and-forth, my writing would still be on the cusp of barely publishable.

Change at the Northwestern Chronicle happens through discussions, not just through the submitting of a form.

You can also play a large role in the Chronicle (if you want) while STILL maintaining a social life, being a part of other student groups, and working a stable job, like myself.

We encourage all writers to join and don’t exclude anyone on the basis of anything. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never written for a school publication before, like myself. I’d only had experience writing opinionated pieces, but was eager to be handed the reigns of an intense, pressing news piece.

Some of my most meaningful experiences with this publication include: accidentally interviewing the dean of the Law school for a piece about Roberta Buffett Elliott’s huge donation to the university, watching the ripples my outspoken piece about Greek life made, and writing my review of Flying Lotus’s most recent album. I sat and listened to it so many times the day it came out, and came to know that album very well.

At the beginning of the year, first-years were encouraged to attend an activities fair to help them find campus organizations and clubs to join. Among all of the cooking clubs, ethnicity groups, sports teams, and more that I walked past, I knew that I definitely wanted to join a campus publication.

I approached the table of the Northwestern Chronicle and was drawn into conversation with our editor-in-chief Anthony, who told me briefly about the Chronicle, its history and its purpose. He emphasized the alternative nature of our content and approach to journalism, and I was immediately interested.

At the same time, however, I found myself in awe by the Daily Northwestern’s table (our school’s largest and longest-running publication) with all of its metaphorical flashing lights and signs, emanating prestige and tradition.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing personal against the Daily. I read the Daily.

It’s just that if I were presented with two options, one being a small role at a big newspaper and the other being a big role at a small newspaper, I’d choose the latter.

Not everyone chooses this way. I respect that! I just tend to get involved in smaller, start-up type projects where I have a lot of opportunities to gain hands-on experience.

My role here matters more because I have more responsibilities and thus invest a lot more time, effort and thought into the activity.

Students from all over campus join the Chron to be a part of an inclusive writing environment.

Interested in joining the Chronicle? Applications are due midnight Wednesday April 15th!

Link to application HERE.

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