Letter from the editor: a pandemic-ridden editorship in retrospect


Credit: Gigi Fox

Elliot Russell, Editor-in-Chief

Dear Knight Life readers,

Your support this past in-person year has left me astronomically satisfied. Whether you attend Loy Norrix now, did in the past or are just a parent along for the ride, the fact that you take time out of your day to read what our community members and student reporters have to say is exactly why we toil away at this publication. 

If the Knight Life staff didn’t write for their work to be read by others, they might as well just be in English class, so thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for allowing us another venue to learn our craft where we have real readers and not just the teacher responding to our written work. Reporting offers us the unparalleled freedom to pursue our interests while putting our work under the scrutiny of the public eye. It’s real experience that transcends the classroom and gives us insight into the world we occupy.

We began this year with a humble group of nine reporters, all of whom are the reason Knight Life still exists today. If it wasn’t for their diligence and initiative, the program could have very easily ended then and there. Luckily, through sheer dedication — they made it look fun — we were able to more than double the size of our team going into the second trimester, making an incredible comeback.

With this all-star team, we were able to accomplish things Knight Life never had before. I joined the staff at the tailend of 2018 as the assistant web editor, at a point when the website was little more than a list of stories to tediously scroll through. The real focus was on the print edition, which was novel but time-consuming for the team to produce: we’d too often find ourselves publishing last month’s news by the time all the layouts had been designed and the issues had arrived, so beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, we dropped it and became a 100% digital publication.

This transition came just in time for the pandemic, which hit in March of that same school year. Then the loathsome next year of online school, my first year as editor-in-chief, thwarted the progress we were hoping to achieve with this transition. Finally, emerging from the pandemic, we had the opportunity to fully realize what was set into motion years ago.

In April of this year, we received the Spartan Award, the highest honor given by the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association. While, of course, I’m incredibly psyched about this, it comes secondary to what we set out to achieve at Knight Life. I am most proud that we have had the ability to provide you with consistent, meaningful coverage and that, considering that you’re reading this letter, you’ve stuck around for some more.

As this school year comes to an end, so does my time attending Loy Norrix and working on the Knight Life staff. Since the first hour of the first day of my first trimester at Loy Norrix, I have been a student of journalism in some form or another. This manifested itself most of all in the 11 following trimesters for which I would contribute to Knight Life. I’ve learned more than I could possibly quantify and worked with some of the sharpest minds of the generation, who will carry on this operation into the coming years.



Elliot Russell, Editor-in-Chief from 2020-2022