Editor’s Note: Safety concerns persist

Our approach to sourcing photos; a dorm intruder and a Brooklyn shooting rattle NYU students.

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Editor's Note

April 16, 2022
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Editor’s Note is a weekly newsletter from WSN’s Editor-in-Chief that brings you the week’s top stories — and the stories behind the stories.
Hi everyone!

It’s been an eventful week, both at NYU and across the city. I hope you’ve all been staying safe — and keeping up with the news.

Here are our top stories from the past week.
A close-up photo of a man in an elevator. He has light skin and glasses, and wears a green baseball cap backwards. He is wearing an orange jacket under a dark gray coat.
The intruder was seen roaming Rubin Hall. (Image courtesy of Nicola Verani)
This week's top picks.
The Rubin Hall intruder
An unidentified man not affiliated with NYU trespassed in Rubin Hall several times in the previous week, WSN reported on Tuesday. The intruder, who claimed to be a graduate student, followed female students and stayed overnight at least twice. WSN obtained video of a student confronting the intruder.

Hall administrators addressed the incidents in an email to residents later on Tuesday, and Campus Safety apologized for its handling of the situation on Thursday. Campus Safety head Fountain Walker said an officer has resigned, and others are under investigation.
Hamilton to step down
NYU’s two top administrators will be stepping down in the near future. President Andrew Hamilton will resign in June 2023, he announced this week. He plans to eventually return as a chemistry professor. A week earlier, news broke that Provost Katherine Fleming will leave NYU this summer to lead the J. Paul Getty Trust. (Columbia University’s president also announced his retirement this week.)
Brooklyn subway shooting
After a shooting in a subway car in Brooklyn on Tuesday left dozens injured and train service disrupted, NYU students criticized the university’s delayed response. The next day, Zack Dahhan helped police apprehend the suspect, Frank James, in the East Village. WSN spoke with Dahhan and others on the scene as James was taken into custody.
A rodent was seen roaming around the floors of the Palladium dining hall. (Image courtesy of Andres Piccinoni)
More campus news
Students eating in the Palladium dining hall captured a rodent on video as it scurried across the floor of the dining area, which is on the third floor of the building. A university representative attributed the sighting to recent cold weather. (Last semester, students spotted cockroaches and rodents at other dining halls and reported getting food poisoning from Palladium, which had failed a health inspection two years earlier.)

Before Frank James was arrested, police in the East Village had been focused on clearing encampments near Tompkins Square Park. Unhoused activists rallied earlier in the week against Mayor Eric Adams’ approach to homelessness.

A mass shooting near NYU’s Tel Aviv campus left students there shaken after two Tel Aviv University undergraduates were killed.

NYU administrators addressed crime and safety in a town hall led by the student government on Wednesday.
Seven people, most of them women, stand side by side with their arms around each other. Some are wearing shirts with the Fusion Film Festival logo.
Jane Schoenbrun, third from left, was interviewed about their film “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair” by film critic Michael Koresky, center, at the 20th Fusion Film Festival. The festival is led by Tisch professor Susan Sandler, third from right. (Photo by Pat Martin)
Arts and culture
NYU’s Fusion Film Festival, led by Tisch professor Susan Sandler, marked its 20th year of celebrating the works of women and nonbinary artists in television, film and new media.

The NYU junior who performs as kiyu spoke with WSN about his subdued, introspective indie pop.

Here’s how you should (and shouldn’t) handle burnout. It might take a little effort, but self-care is worth it in the long run.

Students studying abroad feel unsupported by NYU, Juliana Guarracino writes from Paris.

Veselka is the heart of Ukrainian solidarity in New York City, fighting back against the Russian invasion with pierogies and borscht.
A crowd of people stand and walk around a park surrounded by city buildings and an arch monument under a clear blue sky.
False information peddled by right-wing media outlets has baselessly blamed homeless people for crimes they are not guilty of. (Photo by Kiran Komanduri)
Opinions and perspectives
The right-wing media is distorting the facts of recent incidents around NYU to make you fear and hate homeless people, the Editorial Board writes. Don’t let them egg you on.

Matthew Franco makes the case that the College of Arts & Science is wasting students’ time and money with its language requirement.

It should be possible to expunge a W grade from a student’s transcript after a health-related course withdrawal, Sophie Moller argues (from personal experience).

Tired? Unmotivated? Feel a need to romanticize your life? Take a Hot Girl Walk, Alexandra Cohen suggests.
How we source multimedia
A close-up shot looking past the windshield of a car. A red circle inserted into the image highlights the head of Frank James, who can be seen as a blur in the background.
Frank James being escorted by police. (Staff Photo by Manasa Gudavalli)
The image you see above is of Frank James, the suspect arrested in connection with Tuesday’s subway shooting. It’s not from a wire service, a stock library like Getty Images, or the public domain. It’s an original WSN staff photo taken by Multimedia Editor Manasa Gudavalli.

“The photo in the thumbnail is the first thing readers see, whether that be through the newsletter they get every morning, our social media posts, or our website,” Manasa pointed out. “Every single piece of writing we publish has some form of visual media attached to it — that’s the multimedia team’s rule No. 1.”

This week, I want to highlight the efforts of our multimedia team. I also want to explain where we get our photos, because it’s taken a lot of work to get to where we are multimedia-wise.

These days, the photos and illustrations that WSN publishes are either created for that article, drawn from our internal library, or provided to us by a subject of the article (like an interviewee or a public-relations agent for a film or musician). On rare occasions, we do need to use images from outside sources — but it wasn’t always a rare occasion.

Alexandra Chan, last semester’s managing editor, was WSN’s multimedia editor before Manasa. Along with the editor-in-chief and managing editor at the time, she was one of the staffers responsible for WSN’s shift to original multimedia. Before then, it was fairly common for staff to be figuring out multimedia at the last minute, often pulling public-domain photos because we didn’t have anything on hand.

“With the incredible talent and skill we have at this school, I knew we could take the time and do better,” Alexandra told me.

Doing multimedia in-house helps serve our mission of training the next generation of journalists. With a small but highly skilled team of photographers — and with some coordination and effort — we can just get our own original photos while also providing opportunities for students to do real journalistic work.

Using images from outside sources also invites copyright liability — on a few occasions, WSN used an image without the permission of the creator, and they were rightfully upset at us about it. On the off chance that someone decided to sue, we weren’t prepared to handle the consequences.

When we need to use an outside image these days, we make sure to only draw from sources we have permission to use. This includes images provided by public-relations agents for a film or musician, or, occasionally, public-domain photos of celebrities or buildings.

And there are journalistic benefits to doing things ourselves, too. Here’s what Manasa said about that:
While one of the big perks of having the majority of our multimedia content be original and derived in-house is that we don't run across copyright issues, it also provides our audience with a new perspective. We are showing them content that they haven't seen and that they wouldn't be able to get on other platforms. This is why our readers come to us. If we were using the same photos as every other publication, our readers would assume our content is the same as every other publication.

The quality of the multimedia content that accompanies our articles these days is a credit to the skill of our individual staff — photographers, illustrators, creative directors, photo editors — and to new approaches we’ve taken to coordinating production.

Good multimedia can be one of those things you don’t notice when it’s done well, so I just wanted to point it out this week. By next Saturday, I hope to be able to make a couple exciting announcements about WSN’s future. Until then,
—the editor
Alex Tey's signature in tall, narrow, looping cursive script.

Alex Tey
[email protected]

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