2018 Alumna Lauren Bear visits newspaper class


Lauren Bear (Class of 2018) addresses newspaper class from her home in Boston students during afternoon enrichment on March 2.

   Lauren Bear, who graduated from Guilford in 2018, came back to visit the  Voyager Newspaper class, a class she used to be a part of. She joined the Google Meet to share her current experiences and offer suggestions for the newspaper’s social media presence.

   Bear serves on the editorial board of the Boston Political Review (BPR), a politically focused student newspaper run in Boston University (BU). The newspaper prides itself as being a “nonpartisan student-run platform for the BU community to express its voice and to give our readers a refreshing source of unbiased information,” as stated in their about page.

   “As an editor, I have to edit a lot of opinions,” said Bear. “It’s definitely difficult to control that because bias is real. You watch CNN, you watch Fox, there is bias in every single story. Even in the order of how facts are organized. You can’t completely get rid of it. We definitely try to show both sides of the argument.”

   Bear spent three years on the Guilford Voyager staff and served as a Chief Editor during her senior year. When she joined the BPR as a freshman, its readership was dying. Most of the writers were seniors that did not take part in the BPR that much.

   “Our goal was to create a high quality student-led publication that would bring political news to Boston area residents,” said Bear.

   Now the BPR is more successful than ever. In an increasingly digital world, many publications are struggling to survive in this climate. The BPR was on its last legs until Bear came in with something that saved it: social media.

   “A couple years ago we really did not have any presence on social media at all,” said Bear. “Getting a Twitter, Instagram and a LinkedIn really increased our readership so much because our writers repost it. Especially when you use interesting graphics, people are more inclined to repost it. We actually just took on two people who are in charge of making our web design. They make graphics for our Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.”

   Another reason that the BPR is thriving right now is because of word of mouth. This ties in with the social media aspect of growth. Covering a story first will make people more likely to repost that story. Then those people will repost the story and the cycle continues.

   “Right now sexual assault is a really hot topic at BU,” said Bear. “There is a lot of calls from organizations on campus for the administration to take more responsibility to do more to help out survivors. They organized a huge virtual and in-person socially distant protest in our campus. We were one of the first institutions to cover it and have it up on social media. Because of that, tons of BU students reposted our story on our Instagram and are talking about it. If you get there first or you are covering an interesting topic, people are going to be inclined to read it, repost, or talk about it.”

   Now that the BPR uses social media, their readership has been better than ever. She has said that the same growth opportunities that worked for the BPR like the use of social media and “spreading the word” would work for the Voyager as well.

   “Very similar to you guys, we had a lot of growth opportunities when I first joined and over the last few years we have learned to exploit that,” said Bear. 

   Students in Newspaper class are excited to use the tips that she shared in the future for their stories.

   “I would say that I took away the fact that when you have a newspaper, it is good to have lots of media boosts,” said Opinions Editor Hailey Skaggs, sophomore. “Especially use popping headlines and make it colorful and make it stand out.”

   Bear also gave advice that resonated with some students.

   “I took away the importance of just taking my time in high school,” said Entertainment Editor Eddie Drinkwine, junior. “Most students are really stressed on what they want to do later in life, and it was interesting to hear from Lauren that it is not as important as it seems right now.”