March 30, 2017

Editorial Board

Editorial Board and the editorial process

The Journal Editorial Board is comprised of 24 students who currently work for the Journal in various editorial positions. Here’s our masthead that identifies each member of the Board.

Dialogue: Editorials and Opinions

The Dialogue section of our paper is comprised of two subsections, Editorials and Opinions. Our Opinions subsection is a forum for the Queen’s community to have their voice heard through op-eds, letters to the editor and Talking Heads. Editorials is reserved for the opinions of the students who sit on our Editorial Board.

Unsigned editorials versus signed editorials

An unsigned editorial has no name attached to it, and represents the collective opinion of the Editorial Board. Each signed editorial has an attribution at the end that says “- Journal Editorial Board”. There are further details of this process below.

A signed editorial, which always has a name and a headshot attached, represents the opinion of a sole member of the Editorial Board. Each Board member will typically write one signed editorial per semester on a topic of his or her choosing.

The process of creating an unsigned editorial

The Journal’s Editorial Board meets twice a week in the first two months of the semester, and once a week in the third month (one meeting before each issue).

The purpose of these meetings is to decide which topics we want to editorialize on, as well as what stance we should take on them. In the days leading up to each meeting, Board members may nominate potential topics of focus.

Once the Board convenes, we look over all the nominated topics and vote to determine which ones we’ll be discussing for each issue. We usually pick two topics per issue but, in certain cases, the Board may choose to feature one longer editorial.

The Editors in Chief chair the meeting, facilitating a speakers list while Board members share their thoughts on the chosen topic as much or as little as they please. The Journal’s Editorials Editor takes notes throughout the entire meeting, making sure to note down each member’s opinion.

Editorial Board meetings are a safe space, so each member is free to express whatever they wish. Members who are uncomfortable expressing their thoughts in the meeting may contact the Editorials Editor or the Editors in Chief after the meeting is adjourned.

After the meeting, the Editorials Editor uses his or her notes to craft that issue’s unsigned editorials. They’re fact-checked and reviewed by both Editors in Chief before they go to print to ensure they correctly reflect the overall sentiment of Editorial Board.

Open editorial board

Journal policy dictates that there must be one open Editorial Board meeting held each semester. While our meetings are usually private, these two meetings are public - anyone can join in. They’re typically held at a campus location (such as the Grad Club), and are publicized by the Journal in the weeks leading up to it. Although anyone can join in on the discussion at open editorial board and steer the discussion, only the opinions of Editorial Board members are used to craft the editorials, as they must always reflect the opinion of our Board alone.

AMS election endorsement

In recent years, the Journal has released an editorial in the winter term endorsing one of the teams running for AMS executive. This is a practice done by many national newspapers, such as the Globe & Mail, the Toronto Star and the National Post, to name a few.

Here’s an overview of how the endorsement process works:

Editorial Board convenes for this meeting which, in some years, has lasted up to 10 hours. This is because we invite all of the teams to appear separately in front of our Editorial Board. We ask each candidate a list of standard predetermined questions, and then open the floor for Board members to ask questions individually.

After each team has come in, the Board then has a discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of each. The points brought up in this discussion will be the basis of our editorial.

We then vote for whether we want to endorse a team or not. It’s not mandatory for us to endorse, and it’s up to a Board discussion and vote each year as to whether this happens. If we choose to endorse a team, there’s another vote held that determines which team this will be. Journal Editorial Board members are encouraged to abstain from the vote if they feel they have any conflict of interest.

Based on the voting outcomes and the discussions that take place during this meeting, the Editorials Editor will then draft the editorial, to be published in the next print issue.