WSN expands readership beyond staff


Shawn Paik

WSN reader Austin O’Neill enjoying his new favorite paper.

Juanita Garcia, Staff Writer

Washington Square News announced on Tuesday that its readership is officially larger than its staff, following a dramatic increase in readers from 50 to 51 people.

WSN’s new reader is Austin O’Neill, a Steinhardt sophomore who picked up a copy on Monday afternoon to shield himself from the rain on his walk home.

“Honestly, I didn’t even realize we had a newspaper,” O’Neill said. “I was glad there were so many copies of it, because I really didn’t want to get wet.”

The news of another reader caused a stir in the WSN newsroom, with several editors finally feeling like their time spent in the office was worthwhile. Digital Director Hannah Treasure immediately alerted
Twitter followers of the new reader.

“This is huge for us, it’s really a stepping stone in growing our brand,” Treasure said. “I told our followers on as soon as we got confirmation that a student had picked up our paper.”

Editor-in-Chief Valentina Bojanini said this was the highlight of her time working at the paper.

“I just feel like all the hours we spend here and the lack of sleep is worth it now that someone is reading our paper,” Bojanini said. “It’s great that someone else will finally get to see all of our hard work.”

Managing Editor Thomas Devlin said he was surprised someone else picked up a copy of the newspaper, but he said he is skeptical about the new reader continuing to read WSN.

“My dad stopped reading it after the initial excitement about my job here wore off,” Devlin said. “He gave up after a week, so I hope this guy lasts longer.”

In an effort to retain readership, several members of the editorial team invited O’Neill for a tour of the office. O’Neill, who was lured to the office under the promise of pizza, said the offices were bleak and depressing.

“I tripped on a person when I walked into the office, some kid fell asleep on his way to get water,” O’Neill said. “It was really depressing, a lot of people were crying. I’m not sure why people stay there.”

The staff toured O’Neill through several rooms, some with tables and empty chairs, others with only filing cabinets and office supplies. O’Neill was unimpressed.

“These people are just real weird,” O’Neill said. “I think they might be in a cult. I definitely have a less positive opinion of them after actually meeting them.”

In recognition of his dedicated readership, they offered him a guest editor-in-chief position for a week, and asked to take his photo for a full page advertisement that would run for the following month.

“I said no,” O’Neill said.

O’Neill added that he has no plans to pick up any more copies of the Washington Square News.

“I guess if it rains again, and I leave my umbrella at home, then maybe,” O’Neill said.

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, April 1 print edition. Email Juanita Garcia at [email protected].