George School’s student newspaper, Curious George is back again with its first edition for the 2020-2021 school year. The club quickly made the switch to digital last spring due to the pandemic and has continued publishing in the digital format ever since.
The sections boast a wide array of topics, and range in scope from a George School happenings to International news. There are also articles on local news, issues affecting the United States, and a Focus on the Arts section. Not only are the topics diverse, but the articles run the emotional gamut as well, with Safi Baadarani-Feeny’s ’22 sobering report on the explosions in Lebanon balanced out by Elizabeth Gibsons’ ’22 lighthearted piece on reasons to be positive during the pandemic.
Editor-in-Chief, Sophia Friedman ’21, has taken on her role with resolute commitment and does not shy away from the challenges that running a newspaper in the time of COVID presents, including working with students from different time zones. Despite these challenges, the paper was successfully released while covering a plethora of topics and has grown tremendously. “I know that I was hugely surprised at the surge in interest we had this year, especially given the circumstances. I was expecting community members to shy away from journalism now more than ever, but, it turns out, these circumstances were perfect for inspiring people to write,” said Sophia.
She also stressed the importance of the paper as a collaborative process, stating, “I’m grateful for the staff we have this year and for the support the editorial team consistently offers. The paper isn’t anything that one person could do or that any one person could receive credit for. It really, truly, is a team effort.”
In his second year as faculty advisor, English teacher Kyle Abbot has been able to transform his role from one on the “front lines” to one of “support and development” as the paper has grown to ten editors and approximately fifty student writers and photographers. One of the ways he’s been able to assist the students is through aiding their bigger picture goals. They’ve shown a strong desire to host campus discussions, highlight the history of the paper, and pursue further training. As a result, Kyle is on the hunt for speakers, working with the school archivist, and researching training opportunities for the students.
He reflects that while it has been a challenging year due to COVID, “each and every student staff member shows passion, perseverance, and commitment to our school community. Their lives truly do speak, and their work sets a clear mandate, for me, as to why I’m here, and where my focus needs to be.”