Editorial: Reform Needed to Maintain Quest Quality
The quality of The Quest has fluctuated wildly in its near century of existence. In recent years, it has published everything from coloring contests to articles on Pet Parade titled “Pawsitive Reinforcement.” Quest Board elections too often deteriorate into popularity contests and do not guarantee a high quality Quest.
The method of choosing Quest Editors needs to move away from elections in order to establish institutional memory and to ensure that editors are chosen because they are qualified, and not because they are marginally more popular than their competition.
We propose that Quest Editors be chosen through a system of internal appointments, in which they follow the same ideals they do every week, transparency, objectivity, and fairness, in choosing new editors themselves. Editors will use a consensus-less-one voting system to appoint new members, a method that Appointments Committee currently uses to appoint student body positions. The appointment process will be observed by a Quest outsider to further ensure that the Quest Board does not become nepotistic. New editors may be appointed in the middle of a semester if the Quest Board loses editors.
The Quest Board will still be subject to recall by the student body if Reedies feel that editors are abusing their editorial control or otherwise failing to produce a Quest that balances journalistic integrity with Reed’s élan vital.
A set minimum number of Queditors will be established to guarantee both a diverse and large enough Quest Board to do the job. While some past Quest Boards have consisted of three or four editors, consistently publishing a Quest with timely investigative journalism, or journalism at all, requires a larger board. We started this semester with seven editors and have already lost one to a leave of absence. Every week is a struggle not just to fill The Quest, but to fill The Quest with good journalism. When the truly important story does strike–student arrests, student patrol officers, or Title IX investigations–it’s essential that The Quest is able to cover it skillfully, else the student body will be unable to make informed decisions.
We hope that our proposal will ensure that the The Quest is capable of reporting the challenges that face the student body.