Firstly, allow me briefly introduce myself: my name is Jae Young Byon and I am the new Editor-in-Chief of The KAIST Herald. To all of our regular readers, I would like to offer our thanks on behalf of the staff for your continued support and interest in our publication. To any new readers out there, we hope to serve you to the best of our abilities in providing you with all the latest news from KAIST.
This issue of our newspaper, the 108th that marks the beginning of the 2011 Fall semester, also marks a transitional time for The KAlST Herald. Thanks to a few of our dedicated reporters, who devoted significant chunks of their much-needed summer break, the works on improving our newspaper are already off to a good start. Starting from this September issue we hope to implement the numerous little tweaks, not to mention the big changes, in our paper to develop it into a greater publication.
Before discussing further details concerning our improvement project, here is a little aside to explain this campaign for betterment. As members of one of KAIST’s official publications, the staff of The KAIST Herald have always been eager to live up to the high expectations associated with the organization. However, although this desire has always existed, very rarely were our reporters provided the conditions necessary 10 ensure extensive news coverage or well-crafted writing. The KAIST Herald has managed to survive thus far on its reporters’ diligence and brilliance, but increasingly harsh working conditions make necessary a fundamental change in the Herald's traditional system and focus. The emergence of competing publications, be they from within or outside of KAIST, creates a Darwinian environment that demands our organization evolve or die. Add to this the university's desire to have its say over the Herald’s reporting and activities and our publication's need to become a vital medium of communication that neither the administrators nor competing organizations can deter becomes evident.
The best means of achieving our goal made it se lf known to me over the summer vacation. In this time, I managed to read Different, a book authored by Young Me Moon, a professor at Harvard’s School of Business. Although the book was by no means revolutionary, reading it nonetheless helped me better see The KA1ST Herald from a new perspective - the consumers’ perspective. This may seem like something that hardly requires the reading of an entire book to achieve, but as countless companies (and until now, The KAIST Herald too) have demonstrated, sellers often make poor choices in appealing to their customers, and thus the knowledge of what and how to change is half the job done.
A key concept in being successful with one’s product is to stand out from the competition, but not just stand out for its own sake; through this difference. One must attain ascendency over all rivals. The KAlST Herald must change in a way that makes it a newspaper that people not only should read, but also want to read. To achieve this goal, there are plenty of areas to explore and improve in. An expanded International section could be vital in fully reporting on the events and happenings of the international student community, while interviews of rock bands would freshen up the interview section. The options are near limitless and it's about time the Herald began exploring the multitudes.
To assist this process The KAIST Herald is also specializing; an executive team has been formed to better operate the organization while reporters will focus their efforts on their areas of expertise. The inclusion of photographers and cartoonists could also go a long way to establishing efficiency and quality within the newspaper.
Plans for the Herald’s transformation are still tentative at best and there is plenty of room for errors. However, the Herald must and will continue to evolve to best serve its readers and maintain its status as one of the nation’s best English language student publications. I sincerely hope that you, dear reader, will stay with us to together revel in the rewards at the end of the journey.
Jae Young Byon