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Thursday, March 30, 2023
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Darn you, smart kids!

Editor’s Notebook: Darn you, smart kids!

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We’re in the thick of it now. The thick of dean’s-list time.

Because we in Sun Gazette-land know that the way to a reader’s heart is through his or her children, we’re big on student-achievement items. And each year right at the start of January, the fall dean’s-list notes (and other achievement items from the fall) start as a trickle and then come in as a flood.

Putting these columns together requires a lot of manual labor – often printing out the lists that had been e-mailed in (or if there are only a few names from a school, writing them out by hand) and then typing it all in to meet our format. Sometimes we get lucky and can cut-and-paste, but usually it requires lots of tap-tap-tapping on a keyboard.


This week’s batch brought us the president’s list and dean’s list from James Madison University, which, with the possible exception of William & Mary, is the largest such list we get. (Neither U.Va. nor Virginia Tech seem to send out student-achievement notes, or if they do, they’ve lost our e-mail address. We’d be happy to get them.)

And speaking of “happy to get them,” don’t be shy, parents and students. Never assume we’ve received information from your institutions of higher education. You can send them to me directly. If we already got it from elsewhere, we’ll let you know, but if we haven’t received it before, into print and online it goes!

RIPPED [OFF] FROM THE HEADLINES: Yours truly was making his 10-minute toodle from home to work yesterday around 7 a.m., and tuned in the WMAL-FM news report to see what was shakin’ in the, sigh, dee-em-veeeeeeeeeeeee.

It’s like I was looking at a mirror while listening, because two of the stories (one about a General Assembly bill on student reps on School Boards and the other about Arlington Public Schools’ updated efforts to notify parents of student absences) were, mmm, borrowed from our online coverage of the day before.

That’s the way of the world — the radio and TV stations (and Washington Post) are notorious for lifting the reporting of others, although the classier outlets (that leaves out you, Posties, and in this case also WMAL) will give attribution and acknowledge where the material came from.

Can’t believe that tacking on “… Sun Gazette Newspapers reported …” to such a radio piece would add that much time, would it?

– Scott McCaffrey

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