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Columbia Chronicle names Patience Hurston as editor-in-chief for the 2024-25 school year

Abra Richardson
Current Copy Chief at the Columbia Chronicle, Patience Hurston poses for a photo at The Student Center on Thursday, April 18. Hurston will be the new editor-in-chief at The Chronicle this coming fall semester.

The Columbia Chronicle has selected a new editor-in-chief for the next academic year. Patience Hurston, a junior journalism major and Black world studies minor from Chicago, will lead the student newspaper during a critical time at Columbia, where a major restructuring is underway to address a $38 million deficit.

Hurston said with this position change, they hope to further the legacy the Chronicle has built throughout the years. 

“I am thrilled to start my role as editor-in-chief. I hope to continue the legacy of every journalist who has made the Chronicle what it is,” said Hurston. “I want the Chronicle to continue to be a trusted news source for our campus community. The Chronicle is a place for all of us and we want to tell your story.” 

Hurston was selected for this position by the Chronicle’s Advisory Board, which includes current Editor-in-Chief Olivia Cohen, Faculty Advisor Jackie Spinner, General Manager Jeremy Shermak and Chronicle alums Micha Thurston, Paige A. Barnes and Molly Walsh, who is a former editor-in-chief of the Chronicle. 

“Patience has had to be at the top of their game to make sure reporting is accurate and clean,” said Walsh, a 2019 journalism graduate who is a criminal justice reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and cleveland.com. “And I can go on for hours on how it’s about time the news organization has a Black student in the top leadership position.”

The 51-year-old Chronicle’s archives are incomplete, but Hurston may be the paper’s first Black editor.

Hurston has been the paper’s copy chief for the past year and has occasionally written articles. Along with Cohen, they interviewed Columbia President and CEO Kwang-Wu Kim for an exclusive story. They have also written about facility access for students, the hip-hop studies minor and rising STI rates. 

“I am noticing a trend in Patience’s work in that their campus stories seem to revolve around championing student issues, which I am a fan of as the EIC will need to do a lot of championing for Chronicle students,” said Thurston, an academic interventionist who graduated in 2020 with a B.A. in English. 

The Chronicle announced on Monday during a staff meeting. 

“I am thrilled to be passing the Chronicle torch on to Patience,” said Cohen, who has been the top editor since Spring 2023. “They are more than ready to take on this role and reimagine the Chronicle in new and innovative ways.” 

Other members of the management team for next school year are:

  • Deputy Editor Addison Annis, a junior photojournalism major and video production minor from Plymouth, Minnesota;
  • Campus News Editor Vivian Richey, a sophomore journalism major from St. Louis;
  • Assistant Campus News Editor Allison Shelton, a sophomore journalism major and double minor in fashion communication and advertising from Lees Summit, Missouri;
  • Copy Chief Vanessa Orozco, a junior ASL-English interpretation major and journalism minor from Erie, Pennsylvania;
  • Director of Photography Kaelah Serrano, a junior photojournalism major from Chicago;
  • Creative Director Lilly Sundsback, a first-year illustration major and animation minor from Rochester, Minnesota;
  • Opinions Editor Peyton Reich, a junior photojournalism major and marketing minor from Flossmoor, Illinois.

The Chronicle will name its new audience engagement editor and student business manager this summer. 

“This is such an experienced and enthusiastic team,” said Jeremy Shermak, general manager of student media. “We’ve watched them grow individually throughout coverage of the strike and financial crisis. They will now carry that experience into leadership roles.”

Spinner, the Chronicle’s faculty advisor who recruited and hired Hurston last year, said they have emerged as a thoughtful and detailed leader in the newsroom. 

“They led our copy desk during one of the most intense times the Chronicle has experienced, navigating the part-time faculty strike last fall and now the college’s financial crisis,” Spinner said. “The copy desk is our last check on facts, so it serves a critical role in helping us get things right and in maintaining our credibility.”

Spinner said she is confident Hurston has the journalistic skills to lead the Chronicle into a growth year after more than half the current staff graduates this May. 

“Patience is committed to our diversity and inclusion efforts,” Spinner said. “They know it’s not only important for us to recruit a diverse staff, but we also have to mentor people to succeed. They are a great teacher, which is the basis for being a great editor. I can’t wait to see what they will do, building on the phenomenal work of our current leadership and staff.” 

Copy Edited by Myranda Diaz.

Resumen en Español: 

El Columbia Chronicle ha seleccionado a Patience Hurston como jefe de redacción para el curso 2024-25. Hurston es de Chicago y esta en su tercer año de periodismo y de los estudios negros. 

Hurston dijo que con este cambio de posición, esperan continuar con el legado que el Chronicle ha construido a lo largo de los años. 

Huston fue seleccionado para este puesto por la Junta Asesora del Chronicle, que incluye a la actual jefa de redacción Olivia Cohen, la asesora de la facultad Jackie Spinner, el gerente general Jeremy Shermak y los ex alumnos del Chronicle Micha Thurston, Paige A. Barnes y Molly Walsh, jefa de redacción anteriora del Chronicle. 

Resumen en Español por Miranda Bucio

This story has been updated

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About the Contributors
Samaher AbuRabah
Samaher AbuRabah, Former Copy Editor
saburabah@columbiachronicle.com   Samaher AbuRabah is a senior journalism and public relations major. AbuRabah has written about Columbia events, Palestinian culture and Muslim news. She worked for the Chronicle from January 2024 through May 2024.   Hometown: Oak Lawn, Illinois
Abra Richardson
Abra Richardson, Former Senior Photojournalist
arichardson@columbiachronicle.com   Abra Richardson is a senior photojournalism major and has covered Chicago music festivals, fashion and metro protests. She joined the Chronicle in August 2021.   Hometown: Palatine, Illinois