Kapi‘o reflections: Hanul Seo

My name is Hanul Seo, last copy editor of Kapi‘o News. When I first started writing for this paper, I had no idea I would end up in a real-life zombie movie.

“Ghhrrraaahhhr,” said the newspaper that wouldn’t die.

For about a month or so, conflicting reports and visions for its future had kept it in an agonizing limbo bereft of any real closure. Parts of it had begun to go missing. Furniture, employees, and deadlines all dropped off one by one, leaving behind a barely functional husk plodding through the mires of bureaucracy.

In the movies, humanity brings these disasters, monsters, and epidemics upon itself most of the time, and they are often larger-than-life reflections of mundane issues that face people, blown way out of proportion. We face a similar problem. In our case, although we might be sorely tempted to point fingers (index or otherwise), I believe the blame should not be piled upon one side or even shared equally in this case. Instead, we should just keep our minds open to the possibility of change, even though it might not be what we want for ourselves or others.

A newspaper is going out of print and its staff is being laid off. Stuff like this happens all the time. I urge all parties to remain pragmatic and unattached in their negotiations. What I have to say next is for the various people involved in these negotiations.

Avoid melodrama. This is a job. There are other jobs. Your primary antagonists aren’t eldritch abominations, and they have not come forth from the bowels of the earth to persecute the chosen few. Although they could be a bit (actually, a lot) more transparent, they do have some valid points to make. The larger picture indicates that this kind of change is quite prevalent. When a certain way of doing things or a certain institution becomes obsolete, you adapt so that you do not become likewise. For the sake of your sanity, please choose the path of least resistance and let things go gentle into that good night.

Avoid redundancy. I know you in particular like redundancy, but please: avoid redundancy. Life is already “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury.” Most of us are content with telling the tale just once.

Avoid making promises you can’t keep and ideals that you can’t live up to.  When any of us meet or discuss things, we often end up choking on a dense cloud of abstractions that prevents us from moving forward. The devil, however, is in the details, and many times the details do not come into full view until they are being implemented. If you have different definitions of “student-run” or “journalism,” or if you worry about engagement, you may have to change your strategy in the moment in response to things you could not have foreseen. Don’t worry about things you can’t predict.

Conclusive statements from last meeting:

Kapi‘o will always be a student run publication.

We’re bringing back the Board of Student Publications and volunteers are needed.

Sounds like a good starting point, no?