Last Tuesday, our website, theonlinebeacon.com was hacked, effectively trapping a portion of our content on an unreachable website. Having the newspaper’s website go down for an extended period of time is bad enough, but this event also impacted the physical paper. As readers may have noticed, we used a substantial amount of outside articles in issue three. The Beacon tends to focus more on local content written by our own staff and, as Editor-in-Chief, I wanted to provide some context for our readers.
One of hardest hit was the Sports Section: all of the stories written by our sports editor and writer were unreachable until days after our deadline. We typically focus on Trailblazer games and, to those who are looking for coverage of last week’s games, all content that was slated for that issue will be available on our website Thursday, Oct. 12. This week our Sports staff covered the most recent games and therefore had no room to fit our previous week’s content.
The same can be said for any other content that was unavailable for print last week. With each story we write there is a significant amount of time and effort. There’s the shaping of the angle to take for the story, the interviewing time and then taking all the information gathered and forming it into one coherent article. But that only includes what the writers do for each piece.
Copy editors work on the story after it is submitted and, with the writer and photographers, polish up the piece and get it ready for print. Then there’s the design. Deciding where the story should be placed in the newspaper and struggling to fit it in among the other pieces. So when Thursday comes along, and the piece isn’t in the paper, it feels as though all the combined efforts have been for naught. Therefore we are actively getting any prior content back up on the website for your viewing pleasure.
For that reason you may read an article or two in this issue that didn’t make it into the previous issue or may seen an article online that is from last week. The people who worked on these pieces shouldn’t be punished because of a hacker with little better to do than ruin other people’s weeks. I just wanted to provide an explanation and a little context for you, the reader so that we keep the lines of communication clear. I believe newspaper should be held accountable for its mistakes and should be open and honest with its public and that is why I decided to write this short letter.
I would also like to say that we have brought the website back online and have removed anything dangerous that was left there. In the future we will have measures in place to prevent any similar disaster from reoccurring. I thank you for your patience with us and hope to continue to serve the campus and the community to the best of my ability.