What does The KAIST Herald mean to you? To our members, the newspaper may be a symbol of fulfillment, the physical manifestation of a month’s hard work. To the international community, it may be a reliable source for pertinent information on policies and events that are not readily accessible. To the more apathetic, it merely serves as a temporary tablecloth or picnic mat on occasions calling for epicurean delights.
I, as do the other members of the Herald, realize the responsibility we have as reporters to create a publication that provides the most important truths in an entertaining matter. With that responsibility and the expectations of our peers in mind, it is easy to perceive the clear strengths and the glaring weaknesses the Herald has. The quality of our writing has improved with a rigorous editing process, and so has the enthusiasm for our journalism. However, the paper has suffered from the drab design and overabundance of text, and the scope of our articles has been limited and inflexible.
Spring, with its revival of colorful, floral mosaics juxtaposed against a sky-blue canvas, serves as an eternal metaphor for a new start with new changes. As the warm embrace of the sun collaborates with the remnants of winter’s icy gusts to create a meteorological masterpiece, society is also warming up to significant changes. The Parkland shooting has caused a resurgence of gun control activism in the US. China’s recent amendment to its constitution, which removed presidential term limits for Xi Jinping to stay in power indefinitely, holds great geopolitical implications. North Korea seems to be more open to the very diplomatic talks that it once vehemently refused, although many still fear the hidden intentions behind Kim Jong-un’s change of heart. Domestically, the #MeToo movement has resulted in justice and long-needed discussions to prevent sexual misconduct, create safe channels for victims to speak up against the perpetrators of such crimes, and reform the aspects of Korean society that oppress women. And on campus, KAIST has opened its newly constructed Academic Cultural Complex, which comprises a renovated Main Library and the Cultural Building.
With this spirit of change in mind, it would be outright negligence for the Herald to not attempt changes of its own. In this issue, a newer layout with more images and infographics will hopefully be more aesthetically pleasing. The International Division expands to vaster horizons, covering not only events and policies targeting the local international community here in KAIST but also — for the first time in Herald history — broader international topics that affect the global international community as a whole. The Society Division has brought back a page dedicated to the people of our community, which will be the new home for interviews and obituaries. Last but not least, the Culture Division now ventures into the reasons behind modern cultural phenomena.
I took the task of writing this letter as an opportunity to look back on the letters I wrote last semester. I was glad to see that I am still committed to my mission: “... Korea was not the amazing place I thought it was. I won’t stop speaking until it is.”
For both Korea and the Herald, there is still a long way to go.