Justice elects new editor in chief, managing editor
The new editors discuss their time at the Justice, goals for the year, and highlights of their experience in the newsroom.
Jen Crystal ’23 and Jane Flautt ’23 will lead the Justice during the 2022-23 academic year as editor in chief and managing editor, respectively. They were unanimously elected last spring following Q&A sessions addressing their times at the Justice and goals for the year.
Crystal joined the Justice during the spring of her first year at Brandeis in 2020. She wrote for the news section and was training to be editorial assistant when COVID-19 disrupted the school year. She spent the following year leading the news section remotely. Once the University returned to mostly in-person classes in the fall of 2021, Crystal became an associate editor, before being trained to become editor in chief under the incumbent at the time, Sofia Gonzalez ’23.
Flautt began her time at the Justice during the fall of her first year, working as a staffer for the copy section before being asked to take the position of editorial assistant during her sophomore year. She then served as copy editor until the fall of 2021 when she became an associate editor for a brief time before beginning training under former managing editor Cameron Cushing ’23.
Crystal and Flautt emphasized their desire to build on the office culture, “in some ways just continuing where Cam [Cushing] and Sofia [Gonzalez] left off, but also, Jane and I want to create more of a community here especially for writers and photographers who aren’t editors,” Crystal said.
Fostering more of a community and collaborative aspect to the Justice has been a goal of editors since students returned on campus after the beginning of the pandemic. Flautt reflected on Cushing and Gonzalez’s efforts to make the newsroom more of a social environment: “I think that [staff socializing and making connections] strengthens our journalism — when people care about our fellow editors and we like to hang out with each other, it makes it a lot easier to create the content we want.”
Additionally, as managing editor, Flautt hopes to devote her energy to helping editors as much as possible, specifically with any logistical issues that may arise. “I know being a section editor can be very overwhelming and I really just want to be as supportive as possible and also help facilitate communication across sections,” she said.
Over the past three years, the two have been busy working on various projects for the Justice, but they each had one that stuck out to them. For Crystal, a highlight was working on an investigative series about accessibility on campus. Flautt recalled covering the 2020 election: “It just reminded me of how incredible it is to be covering events like this as student journalists — it was a very stressful time but … it kind of hit me that, wow, what I’m doing here feels very significant in a way and powerful.”
Both editors were quick to reflect on the aspects of the Justice that stand out the most to them. Crystal mentioned the ability to be a part of the community that is being written about: “I really love the concept of student journalism — being actively involved in what you’re reporting on — I feel like that gives really good insight and perspective and really improves the quality of journalism.” Flautt highlighted how well the entire staff is able to handle the workload of contributing to the Justice with being full-time students, and added, “I love how everyone is able to balance doing their jobs really amazingly and creating such incredible articles and photos and content while also enjoying it at the same time.”
Crystal and Flautt expressed their excitement for leading alongside each other in the final stretch of their Brandeis careers and communicated their optimism for the future of the Justice.