A note on student journalism


Molly Parks ’24 is an English and History double major from New Jersey. Molly is the 113th Editor-in-Chief of the Flat Hat. Outside The Flat Hat, Molly is involved in club tennis and social sorority Kappa Alpha Theta. Molly loves to run, write, drink green tea with honey, play with her dog, and is passionate about the importance of grassroots journalism.  Email Molly at mmparks01@wm.edu.

The views expressed in the article are the author’s own.

Wednesday, Aug. 30, the Class of 2027 will walk through the Sir Christopher Wren Building to celebrate the inception of their college experience. Current students at the College of William and Mary will line the centuries-old brick path running from the Wren corridor, welcoming the new members of the Tribe with open arms. The Alma Mater song will echo off the buildings throughout old campus, signifying the dawn of the 330th year for the College.

“Hark! the students’ voices swelling / Strong and true and clear,” the students will sing.

Strong and true and clear: words from the Alma Mater that also reflect the type of news produced by The Flat Hat. Through Stabilitas et Fides, the student journalists of The Flat Hat produce strong and true and clear news that swells all student voices. The Flat Hat lifts up student voices to create an authentic, inclusive and unfiltered picture of the College. 

Why is our College’s tuition priced the way it is? Why is our old freshman dorm being torn down? What is the vision of the College, and how does it directly shape our futures? How can we find cultural or ideological groups that reflect our identities or beliefs?

Students deserve open and honest answers to these questions. Student workers deserve to hear their stories told. Student Assembly deserves an informed electorate. Student researchers deserve to know what projects are happening on campus. Student athletes deserve to have their game-winning goals, three-pointers and personal records recognized. The Flat Hat is here to help maintain a well informed campus population, breaking news that affects students, faculty and staff and the Williamsburg community. 

Every community needs an independent newspaper that is by the people, and for the people. The Flat Hat has been this independent, grassroots newspaper since 1911. We work as unpaid student journalists to provide in-depth coverage on campus and local news, variety features, sport events and community opinions through written articles, data visualization and digital media. This paper would not be possible without the dedicated commitment of its over 70 staff members.

The Flat Hat is a written and digital record of critical events and topics affecting the College. This paper chronicles the College’s history by students, for students. In addition to pictures of weekend trips to College Creek and souvenir tote bags from The Cheese Shop, College students will have old copies of The Flat Hat to help chronicle the good old days in 30 years. 

Across the world, independent journalist voices are being repressed. In the United States, the prevalence of the phrase “fake news” is an existential threat to the nation’s foundational freedom of the press. Support for strong and true and clear independent news starts at the local level.

While attending the College as a student, faculty or staff member, please show your support for local news and student journalism. Our freethinking, autonomous student newspaper thrives with the consistent unwavering support of its readers.

If you support the production of a print newspaper with the aforementioned qualities, pick up a copy of The Flat Hat every other week from our newsstands around campus. You can find us in places like Chancellors Hall, Earl Gregg Swem Library and Aromas in Colonial Williamsburg. Read the paper online at flathatnews.com and issuu.com/theflathat. Follow us on social media @theflathat and listen to The Flat Hat Podcast on Spotify and Soundcloud. If you are interested in joining a newspaper staff with the aforementioned qualities, look into The Flat Hat Fall 2023 intern program by emailing our Operations Coordinator, flathat.operations@gmail.com.

So welcome Class of 2027, we at The Flat Hat look forward to bringing you weekly news to help commemorate your time on this inspiring, innovative and historic campus.

Stabilitas et Fides,



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