Journalism demands effective leadership


By Chris Perri
October 17, 2023

A classroom of students, all looking at the front of the room, where one student has put yellow and pink post-it notes on a white wall. The students who is standing up is pointing at the post it notes, while everyone is watching her
According to an article from the Harvard Business School, leadership is about influencing others. Photo by Jason Goodman via Unsplash.

The news year we face will be far from anything normal. As the student newspaper of a closing university, our road ahead will inevitably be unpredictable and challenging to navigate. 

In times like these, leadership becomes crucial. When challenged, those at the helm of an organization must stand ready to face any obstacle they may encounter.

Effective leadership can take on many forms, especially in times of crisis or dire circumstances. Those in positions of power in an organization must possess the ability to remain focused on the task at hand, support those around them, take on full accountability, and never abuse their power. Journalism demands these traits in its leaders. 

Bob Woodward continued to work for the Washington Post after the Watergate story broke. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

In the context of journalism, leadership plays a massive role in the overall success of a publication and its staff. When faced with potentially groundbreaking stories, those at the top must be at the top of their game, ensuring all possible information is reported and confirmed to be true. 

A famous example of effective journalism leadership is Ben Bradlee, who as the managing editor of the Washington Post stood behind reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward while they investigated what would eventually become the Watergate scandal, which resulted in the resignation of President Richard Nixon. The Watergate reporting serves as a striking example of the power of investigative journalism.  

The year ahead

The Loquitur is no exception to the demands of journalism. When the news of Cabrini’s closure broke in June, the entire dynamic of the year ahead changed dramatically. The responsibilities of the editors and I extended to preserving the 65-year legacy of the publication. Our obligation to keep the student body and Cabrini community at large informed now carries an extra weight, knowing that this will be our final year. 

These uniquely dire circumstances reinforce the need for effective leadership. That falls on me, as well as the rest of the editorial staff. At the end of the day, we are the ones responsible for making sure the paper runs as smoothly as possible and we do justice to its long history. 

In the context of sports, coaches are responsible for leading their teams to success. Photo by Tim Mossholder via Unsplash.

The main task we face is to keep our audience as informed as possible. Currently, with so many questions left unanswered, the Cabrini community is going to look to us for the information and updates on the school’s closure it rightly deserves. We have an obligation to deliver that information in a timely and accurate fashion. It’s something I feel strongly about, and I intend to do everything in my power as editor-in-chief to ensure we fulfill that obligation. 

Because of the closure, information will gradually be released as the year progresses. To be effective leaders, the editors and I need to keep our ears to the ground and jump on potential stories as quickly as possible. News stories are often time sensitive, and we can’t let important developments become stale and irrelevant. 

Serving as mentors

Another crucial thing we must remember is that we are responsible for guiding the staff writers as they learn the ropes of journalism and navigate writing their first stories. I know how daunting starting out in journalism can be, and the circumstances around the closure only make it harder to do so. With all the stories that can and need to be told this year, the editors and I need to be able to guide them in the right direction. 

As the editor-in-chief, the responsibility of guidance not only applies to the staff writers, but the entire editorial staff as well. I’m entrusted to make the final decisions and have the best outcome possible in mind. 

This coming news year will demand effective leadership from myself and the rest of the editorial board. I recognize the monumental challenge ahead of us and the obligations we have to the Cabrini community, and I’m confident we can lead effectively and fulfill those obligations.

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Chris Perri

My name is Chris Perri, and I'm a sophomore digital communications and social media major from Havertown, PA. This is my first year working on the Loquitur, and I look forward to learning how to report accurately and effectively, as well as working with and learning from the editors and photographers. My main interests within reporting are sports, current events, and local news. After college, I hope to pursue a career in journalism or somewhere in the social media industry. I'm hoping to possibly intern in the field of social media marketing, which is a specific interest of mine. Outside of school, I'm passionate about listening to and writing music. I've played the guitar since 2016, and spent time in a band from 2017-2020. I also hope to get into photography and videography, which I took an interest in after taking a basic photography class in high school, as well as video production here at Cabrini.

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