Fall 2021: The Board of Directors’ Semester in Review

The Daily Free Press Board of Directors improved wellness for editors, established paper-wide reporting and ethics standards, and continued to prioritize staff diversity and inclusion in Fall 2021. Along with the rest of the Boston University community, staff resumed in-person operations, meeting once per week in the FreeP office. 

The FreeP newsroom reopened for the first time since the Spring 2020 semester, allowing all editors and staff members to work collaboratively in the office. Thanks to passionate advocacy from the Fall 2021 editorial board, the Board worked with editors to ease the transition back to in-office work and better editor well-being. 

Changes included implementing a hybrid model that allows editors to work remotely as necessary and adjusting the FreeP’s weekly coverage standard to allow for schedule flexibility and more in-depth reporting. FreeP print nights will also move from Wednesdays to Thursdays next semester, giving editors several days off between the late-night of producing a print edition and beginning the next week of publication. 

The Board also opened our Sunday meetings up to the editorial board for the first time, fostering more transparency and open lines of communication between the two. 

The Fall 2021 semester saw the introduction of the Editor’s Equity Fund, which the Board developed in Spring 2021 to increase the socioeconomic diversity of the FreeP newsroom. Editors could seek reimbursement for meals, transportation and other costs, allowing them to balance FreeP responsibilities with their roles as full-time students. 

Another addition to the paper was The Daily Free Press Code of Ethics, authored by Board President and Editor-In-Chief Lily Kepner and Diversity & Inclusion Chair Colbi Edmonds. The code expands on the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics by outlining the FreeP’s commitment to improving the equity, sensitivity and transparency of our reporting. 

Nick Kolev, the first Standards Chair in the Board of Directors’ history, codified the paper’s first Standards document. To optimize our transition between editorial boards each semester, the document delineates FreeP policies regarding sources, conflicts of interest, anonymity, recordings and transcriptions, and news briefs. 

The Code of Ethics and Standards documents are both published on the FreeP website under the Board tab for accessible viewing. 

Recruitment & Training Chair Samantha Kizner once again led a staff-wide training at the beginning of the semester to familiarize staff members with AP Style, the FreeP’s internal structure, racial bias and sensitivity in reporting, and social media best practices for journalism. 

New this semester were mid-semester trainings for associate editors to improve the flow of the editing process within the FreeP newsroom, as well as diversity and inclusivity trainings to increase staff familiarity with equitable reporting practices. D&I trainings included an anti-ableism and disability inclusion workshop, and an LGBTQIA+ equity training with a focus on TGNC inclusivity. 

In late November, the Board interviewed and selected candidates for the Spring 2022 editorial board. As part of our ongoing commitment to aid editor well-being, we created second Managing Editor, Opinion Editor and Podcast Editor positions to provide support and flexibility for editors serving in those roles. With the guidance of Spring 2022 Editor-in-Chief Jean-Paul Azzopardi and Managing Editors Ashley Soebroto and Emily Stevenson, we are confident the FreeP will continue to meet and exceed its standard of high-quality reporting on campus and in local communities. 

As we close out the semester, we want to congratulate Web Chair Cameron Morsberger on graduating and welcome four new members to the Board for Spring 2022. Diversity and Inclusion Chair Isabella Abraham, Public Relations Chair Yvonne Tang, Recruitment & Training Chair Madhri Yehiya and Web Chair Molly Farrar will be joining Board next semester. 

Though the transition back to life on campus after more than a year of virtual work led to plenty of ups and downs this semester, the Board is committed to continuing to grow our coverage and making the FreeP an even better place to learn and work. 

Ananya Panchal
2021-22 Board Chairwoman 

Alex LaSalvia
2021-22 Vice Chair 

Lily Kepner
Fall 2021 President of the Board 

Victoria Bond
2021-22 Secretary and Legal Chair

Nick Telesmanic
2021-22 Treasurer

Justin Tang
2021-22 Advertising & Fundraising Chair 

Sarah Readdean
2021-22 Alumni & Archival Chair 

Melissa Ellin
2021-22 Audience and Engagement Chair   

Abbigale Shi
2021-22 Career Development Chair 

Colbi Edmonds
Fall 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Chair 

Alexia Nizhny
2021-22 Grants & Awards Chair  

Hannah Yoshinaga
Fall 2021 Public Relations Chair 

Samantha Kizner
Fall 2021 Recruitment & Training Chair

Allison Pirog
2021-22 Staff Development Chair 

Nick Kolev
2021-22 Standards Chair 

Cameron Morsberger
Fall 2021 Web Chair  

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