The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

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An anniversary to remember

2023 marks The Fourcast’s 100th year of publication

The year 2023 marks the Fourcast’s 100-year anniversary. The publication debuted on Feb. 1, 1923. In a male-dominated world, Ela Hockaday ensured her students would establish a publication that relayed student voices. One hundred years later, that publication has become an important aspect of student life at Hockaday.

Head of Upper School Lisa Culbertson ’96 described the dynamic of the Fourcast while she was a student. While she was not a part of the staff, she described the similarities between then and now from the perspective of a reader.

“Students would pass out the paper versions, and then in advisory, everyone would read it,” Culbertson said. “It’s sort of similar in that way, and we were always super excited to support our friends who were in it.”

Culbertson added that the Fourcast allows students and faculty to engage in community conversation about relevant topics. One recent example of such conversation occurred when the new schedule was announced last year.

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“It creates that conversation in the community,” Culbertson said. “I really appreciate that it becomes a unifying conversation about a topic.”

Culbertson said that the newspaper gives the administration a glimpse of the student perspective. She added that pieces in the Fourcast, notably opinion pieces, reveal how a particular decision has been received by the student body.

“It can help Hockaday make decisions,” Culbertson said. “The Fourcast is one of the ways of looking at the student voice.”

Culbertson reflected on Hockaday’s legacy, describing how Ms. Hockaday’s progressive vision for women resulted in the creation of the Fourcast.

“Journalism was a field that was male-dominated, and she believed that females should have a voice,” Culbertson said. “She gave the students a voice through the newspaper, and it’s a huge responsibility she gave to students.”

With recent stories, Culbertson applauded journalists for tackling controversial pieces. She added that the Fourcast has pushed the community to consider some difficult topics and become more critical of themselves. She also noted how the Fourcast continues to be published on paper every edition, which reminds her of her time as a student as well.

“There’s still something physical that we have in the hallways that we can pick up and talk about,” Culbertson said.

She encouraged students to hold onto aspects of the 100-year legacy while pushing for new and modern ways to tell stories.

“It’s an interesting responsibility to be a reporter of student voice for a population like Hockaday,” Culbertson said. “There are so many interesting things about people here and I think it’s a beautiful example of how students can leverage their own voices within the school.”

In its 100 years, the newspaper has allowed students to realize their passion for journalism.

While Kristin Lin ’12 was not enrolled in journalism, wrote a column for the Fourcast during her junior and senior years at Hockaday.

Currently, she works as a production manager for the New York Times podcast “The Ezra Klein Show.”

“I remember it being a ton of fun,” Lin said. “It taught me the basics of journalism.”

With her job today, Lin says the Fourcast gave her a great introduction to journalism practices. Her column was submitted to a Dallas Morning News competition and allowed her to gain exposure working with an official newspaper.

“I think getting to work with an editor was also an awesome experience,” Lin said. “The Fourcast was my first opportunity to get exposed to the world of journalism, which was really great.”

Reflecting on the 100-year anniversary, Lin added how important it was historically to have a newspaper that was created at a time when women did not have many rights. Lin also hopes that the newspaper continues to tackle controversial issues, inside and outside the community.

“The fact that Hockaday has been training its students to become journalists for so long is remarkable,” Lin said. “I hope that administration continues to allow students to publish stories of all sorts and allow reporting that students do to stand on its own merit.”

Regarding the 100-year anniversary, Culbertson also described how excited she is to celebrate this milestone. She noted that current student-journalists have a responsibility to continue this legacy as the voice of the student body.

“To have a completely women-led newspaper is a really cool thing,” Culbertson said. “I think it’s inspiring and important and I think we need to celebrate this.”

Recent alum, Melody Hu ’23 reflected on her experiences as an Editor-in-Chief of the Fourcast.

“I had a really great experience as Editor-in-Chief and really enjoyed my time on the staff,” Hu said. “It is definitely a part of Hockaday that I really miss.”

As a freshman at the University of California, Berkeley, Hu said a lot of the skills she learned as an Editor help her in her work as a college student. Hu said her favorite part of being on the Fourcast was reading all of the pieces from the staff.

“I was always amazed by how funny, entertaining, or informative the articles could be,” Hu said.

Reflecting on the 100-year anniversary, Hu said how excited she was to celebrate this milestone. Additionally, she advised that staff members continue to take on controversial issues within the community.

“I think Hockaday students do a great job with writing pieces that are informative and thought provoking,” Hu said. “I’m excited to see the Fourcast publish more stories and do more in the future.”

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About the Contributor
Shreya Vijay
Shreya Vijay, Opinions Editor