The Herald Tradition – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

The Herald Tradition

In its role as “A Voice for the Students,” the Herald continues to serve as a platform for student journalism and prevalent discussions of campus issues, moving fully online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Editors-in-Chief of the Herald, Henry Duerr ’21 and Russell Payne ’21 have expanded the publication’s digital presence, relying on the newspaper’s website to continue to publish stories. The newspaper’s staff has adapted well to the new format.

“The main thing we’ve been doing is taking the time to do more investigations because we don’t have the pressing deadlines that we used to and we’ve got a smaller but more experienced staff,” says Payne, a writing and rhetoric major with a double minor in philosophy and music.

Duerr and Payne are calling on students to join. “We would really love to invite students, if they have a valuable perspective or an opinion that they think is particularly salient, to please write to the Herald via or you can write to either of our personal emails,” Payne says. “We would be willing to work with you to get that out there and have your voice be heard.”

Duerr explains that working on the Herald can help students develop a variety of skillsets and gain practical experience that can assist them in their post-graduate career paths. “I know going into it, I just started working from a writing standpoint and that’s all I thought I would be doing but now I can say that I’ve been doing stuff for the past few years that involve graphic design, layout, marketing and copyediting,” says Duerr, a writing and rhetoric major with a minor in English.

Copyeditor Olivia Rowland ’21 echoes this sentiment. “We are always looking for writers who are passionate about an issue or event on campus to write about it, whether in a more journalistic style or an opinion piece. You don’t need to be an amazing writer to write for the Herald–we’re all student journalists, so we’re all learning together,” she says.

Promoting student journalism and creating a space for discussion that could inspire positive change or provide a new perspective is the mission of their newspaper. In today’s political and social climate, independent journalism has become more important than ever and it is increasingly vital to encourage student voices through organizations like the Herald.

Although the online format is serving the Herald well for now, the staff hopes to return to distributing print copies as well when it’s safe.

“At the Herald, we strive to be a voice for students and we would like to get back to print because when it’s laying out on one of the boxes or on a table in Scandling, it’s very easy to snag,” says Duerr. “That’s where the biggest sense of satisfaction comes from for me, when I see a student pick an issue up to read it and call their friend over or fold it and put it in their backpack, like ‘oh, I’ll read that later!’ That’s a nice moment.”

Anyone interesting in following the Herald can do so on Instagram @HWSHerald. Anyone interested in contacting the editors or becoming involved with the Herald can email and anyone interested in reading their recent work can do so at

In the photo above, Henry Duerr ’21, Russell Payne ’21 and Olivia Rowland ’21 meet on the Scandling Patio.