Letter from the Editor: A Welcome, an Introduction and a Farewell

The Signal was established in 1933. In October, that will be 87 years of student-driven journalism from the heart of Atlanta. And if you’ve seen our new logo, you might have noticed an addition calling to that — see the new “est. 1933,” right above the A in Signal.

The Signal looks different this year: We’ve rebranded our marketing and social media and redesigned our print product because 2020 wouldn’t be a more fitting year to keep the change rolling. We’ve all heard it before — “unprecedented times,” “times of change,” etc. 

But that 1933 is pretty significant because although we are bringing you change, an updated look and reinvigorated vision of what The Signal means, at our core, we maintain our three-pronged mission statement above all else: providing in a fair and accurate manner, news of interest and significance to the Georgia State community; the opportunity for students to pursue experience within a professional newspaper environment; and truthful and ethical advertising.

In our new logo, you might have noticed our new (but not quite so new after you’ve read our mission statement) slogan: Independent, Impactful, Impartial.

While under quarantine over the summer, several members of our team were extremely hard at work to bring you what you see today and what will continue throughout the semester. 

Over the summer, I know many of you have faced gripping realities of the age we live in, and this isn’t the first week of school you were hoping for. But I wholeheartedly believe in you, in our generation and the resilience of our communities to come out of this brighter, better and stronger. 

As for how we kept busy this summer, I, as editor-in-chief, directed the project, along with Managing Editor Brooklyn Valera as my right-hand woman. Julian Pineda, our former marketing manager, and his successor Franky Huang crafted our beautiful marketing vision that’s clean, quick and exactly what you want from a news organization on social media. And without our Production Editor Monte Lowery and our Senior Staff Designer Shancheze Johnson, our new logo and print layout wouldn’t be possible. 

I’d be remiss not to mention the more than 75 writers, artists and sales associates of The Signal who all play a part in the paper, website, podcast, social media and video content we provide every week.

This team and these decisions were extremely intentional. Now, your favorite campus paper will be entirely in color, with new page layouts that bring you the most news in the most compelling way, plus fascinating ways to engage with us and your community (check out the Kickback on the last two pages). 

From the bottom of my heart as editor-in-chief and on behalf of our team, we hope you love what we’ve created for you as much as we do — I promise the vigor we put into this rebrand will be evident every day of this new year.

I joined The Signal as a news reporter more than two years ago in April 2018. Throughout my time here, I’ve gained invaluable experience that has provided me more opportunities than I would ever imagine. So many opportunities, in fact, that I’ve outgrown this home I’ve come to love.

While this letter intends to welcome you back to our new school year and introduce you to our new products, it is also a farewell. August 31 will be my last day as editor-in-chief of The Signal as I will pursue a full-time internship at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and freelance work for Atlanta magazine during my senior year.

The AJC was a dream of mine I never thought I could achieve before I joined The Signal. It is extremely bittersweet to find I have achieved that dream but have to say good-bye to what got me there.

Earlier, I made a promise that the passion you see behind our work from over the summer will continue into the rest of the year, even knowing that I won’t be here to fulfill that promise.

That’s because I wouldn’t want to place my bets on anyone but my successor as your next editor-in-chief, Brooklyn Valera.

Brooklyn has it all: tenacity, grit, creativity, journalistic integrity and the leadership capacity she will need to take on this mantle. I made that promise because there’s no doubt in my mind that she will exceed it.

Brooklyn, you’ve been by my side as I laid the foundation for the future of The Signal, and now that future is here, and it belongs to you. Shoot for the stars, and I know you’ll make it.

As for the Georgia State community, it has been an honor to tell your stories, amplify your voices and learn about who you are, where you came from and what you believe in. Thank you, I couldn’t be more proud to have made the choice to go to Georgia State.

There are a hundred names I could mention and give thanks to for helping me get to where I am. While I look toward the future, I couldn’t write this letter without a nod to the past. Daniel Varitek, who passed on the position of editor-in-chief to me, paved a way for me to accomplish so much.

Danny and I have always been suckers for traditions, and I think it’s time we started one together, so I’ll end this letter just as he had when he made his leave.


Goodbye, and good luck,

Ada Wood

Editor-in-Chief ‘20