The Mossy Log celebrates journalistic legacy of staff’s past, looks to new future after name change
The Mossy Log’s first issue was published on Oct. 13, 1942, which is 80 years ago this month. At the time, the paper was yet to be named. However, for the following issues up until the start of this semester, it had been known as The Pioneer Log.
As our readers know, this change was made as an effort towards decolonization. However, some members of the community felt it was erasing our history, though that is off-base. Come to find out, that history started without a name.
For me, this is emblematic of what it is like to be a news organization. Most often, no matter the circumstances, we stick to our print schedule – even without a name. This is something I know places me within a long legacy of other editors-in-chief, where every issue feels like a miracle.
For example, this issue comes after a sudden emergency move out of our office the day before layout. Last issue, I had COVID-19 and was editing, exporting and putting out fires remotely. The issue before that we were down several editors due to the following reasons: vacant position (since filled), spider bite and soccer game. We are on time to a fault.
However, I know this is not unique. For all the EICs I have known – Ihsaan Mohamed, Nicholas Nerli and Hanna Merzbach – there have always been problems, most of them unpredictable. Under Ihsaan’s leadership, our office also moved. Unfortunately that time, our printer did not work and our computers were not connected to the network. That issue we did publish late – by one business day.
There have been times when we have foregone publishing, most recently due to the Coronavirus pandemic. During Nic’s tenure, out of fear of covid contamination, we canceled our last layout that semester. Honestly, it was a miracle we were able to safely design the paper in person at all that year since most classes were still entirely virtual, or hybrid at best.
In fact, the semester before that, when Hanna was EIC, issues came to a complete halt when the pandemic proved dangerous and LC students were sent home. However, not before we produced one last issue: the coronavirus special edition.
Funnily enough, this was the first semester I served as an editor. A week before students were required to leave, I got an email with an offer to be a news editor for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. I was elated: This was what I was waiting for. It was very short lived, but I did write four or five articles for that issue and laid out page 2.
Ever since I have been at this publication, there have been challenges to printing. That is what has defined us, more than any name ever has. I hope what we can remember is our perseverance above all else, while reckoning with our flaws and mistakes.
This issue is in dedication to those previous editors and the struggles they pushed through to publish, the ones I know of and the many others I do not. As well as our editorial board and contributors who go through their own personal tribulations to ensure each issue is possible. And of course, to you dear reader.