A Response To Wilkes University's The Beacon's OpEd

A Response To Wilkes University's The Beacon's OpEd

A journey that ends at Odyssey's doorstep
29
views

Recently, Wilkes University’s school paper, “The Beacon,” released an opinion piece titled “The Odyssey: A Journey That Ends at The Beacon Doorstep,” written by the paper’s co-managing editor, Gabby Glinski. Before we really get into this, I want to acknowledge that we’re all for an opinion piece - people can write about whatever their heart’s desire truly is, but… we also believe in the right to write an opinion piece about another opinion piece. So… here we are.

We’re sure if Glinski or anyone else from The Beacon is reading this, they’re wondering who exactly is writing this. Well, two editors of Odyssey, actually (surprise!). Charlsley Carey, the editor-in-chief of the Midlothian, Virginia community and Taylor Hall, the contributing editor of the same community came together to address the many things wrong with this article. Carey has been working with Odyssey for about a year and a half and Hall has been working with Odyssey for a few months, and their pieces continue to blow people away. We think that we can say that we are two girls who pretty much know what they’re talking about all things Odyssey related. So, after analyzing Glinski’s piece, we have a few problems with it.


Problem 1: Types of stories

One of the first things that Glinski stated in her piece was that Odyssey “Encourages students to write stories centered around their lives on campus.Wrong. You’re able to write about anything you choose, and articles come from a wide variety of people about an even wider variety of subjects. Some of these communities aren’t even based on college campuses, there are plenty of different communities. In fact, Odyssey’s “About” section, states this: “Odyssey is built to capture the ideas of many and organically amplify those viewpoints to users around the world.” Yeah, that totally sends the message that writers are encouraged to write about one thing. Okay, Glinski.

Problem 2: Odyssey overshadowing campus media

In the opinion piece, Glinski states, “But our hard work is being overshadowed by online socialized media: The Odyssey.” I think it’s a no-brainer that Odyssey was not created to “overshadow” anyone. While Odyssey may end up overshadowing some pieces, it is also a fact that Odyssey content creators are encouraged to, and they do, hyperlink their pieces to other pieces from the school’s paper. Carey (who is the editor-in-chief if you needed a refresher) knows the editor-in-chief of Wilkes University’s Odyssey community, Elyse Guziewicz, and knows how she encourages her creators to often hyperlink their audience to the school’s paper, causing traffic to intermingle between Odyssey and The Beacon. So, if you’re losing readers, don’t go blaming Odyssey.

Problem 3: Content quality

Glinski says that Odyssey discourages writers to discuss deep or personal content. This could not be farther from the truth, as the deeper and personal stories in communities have some of the highest social media shares week after week. In Midlothian, Virginia this week, an article titled, “So Happy Birthday, Cancer,” by creator Clair Walters, had the highest number of social media interactions, for example. Deep and personal content is normally a large makeup of Odyssey’s home page, and rightfully so.

Problem 4: Competition over quality

In the article, it alludes to the fact that, after talking to a few writers who used to write for Odyssey, it must be such an awful place to write for. In one of Glinski's examples, she mentions Kim Hein, a former Odyssey content creator. Hein says “with The Odyssey Online, writers have to promote their own stories through sharing on social media; Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. The writer with the most shares by the next week wins a $20 gift card.” She also brings in another voice, Sarah Bedford, another former Odyssey writer, who talks about the competition. “Your worth on this website is measured by if you get the top article,” Bedford states, followed by a complaining of having to share her own article to many social media platforms. (God forbid you share your own work to your friends and family! How dare anyone force the writer to promote their own piece, that’s just unholy!) But, this argument is now basically irrelevant. Why? You may ask. Well, Odyssey just got rid of the $20 reward system (cash, by the way, not a gift card) for most shared article of the week. In fact, unless you are an editor, you won’t even see the share leaderboard.

Problem 5: It takes the fun out of writing.

In this section of the article, Glinski included a quote again from former Odyssey writer, Kim Hein. Hein stated that “It [Odyssey] kind of took the fun out of writing. That being said, I enjoy writing for the Beacon because I have people helping me in the office and it’s a team effort to have all of the stories be on the same level when published.” ...Okay, if you’re allowed to write about anything you want and that’s not fun to you, maybe writing isn’t your passion, Hein. Odyssey writers are able to express themselves however they choose with one deadline per week. Odyssey is also a team effort. We as a community push each other to write our best articles and you get to meet all kinds of different people in writing for Odyssey.

Problem 6: Overwriting of the same topic

In the article, it is mentioned that, “is winning the prize more important than the message being produced? Are overshared listicles and “Dear Future Boyfriend” articles overtaking Facebook feeds and pushing traditional campus media outlets out of the way?” If you browse through Odyssey’s articles, it’s not a shock to see a bunch of people writing similar topics such as “Dear Future Boyfriend,” “An Open Letter To My Mom,”Dear Graduating Class of ____” but if you take that time to actually sit and read through those articles, you’ll notice that they are all different. They are written by different people with different perspectives in different walks of life. They aren’t the same article and shame on you for shaming people for wanting to write about a topic that they are passionate about, even if other people have written about, too. And also, a lot of people write about drastically different things. Examples: We have creators writing about current pop news events, self care, interviews with local artists, holidays, social experiments, and so many other things. We all don't think we alike, we have brains of our owns.

Problem 7: Picking and choosing content creators

This isn’t a problem specifically that we can pull out a quote from the article, but it’s just something understood. It is a whole lot easier to become a writer for Odyssey than it is to become a writer for a school newspaper. In fact, after a few minutes of looking throughout The Beacon’s website, I couldn’t find anywhere where I could have applied to work there. Maybe it’s an in-person application only, but I saw nothing that would have helped me if I had wanted to write for them. On the contrary, at Odyssey, on the bottom right hand corner one of the buttons clearly states “Request to Join,” where you can then apply for any community with ease.

Problem 8: Who can create content

The last problem we have is also another problem that we can’t pull out an exact quote for it. But, for The Beacon, the writers are students at Wilkes University - duh. It wouldn’t make sense to have some random person from California writing for them. But, at Odyssey, any millennial can write or create videos; whether you are in college or not. There are Odyssey communities both on campus and off. For example, we are editors for the Midlothian, Virginia community. We go to different schools in different states. Half of the people on the team are either in high school or aren’t in college at all. Therefore, Odyssey gives more people the chance to write than just your standard school newspaper. Hall also writes for the school paper at her university and is grateful for both experiences. But Odyssey is the place where she can express her opinion and have a much more broad range of article topics.


There are many differences in the two different forms of publication, but The Beacon really should have fact checked this opinion piece before publishing it.

Embarrassing.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Popular Right Now

14 Stages Of Buying Jonas Brothers Concert Tickets As A 20-Something In 2019

"Alexa, play "Burnin' Up" by the Jonas Brothers."

10266
views

In case you missed it, the Jonas Brothers are back together and, let me tell you, they're giving us some major jams. For those of us who were there when it all began back in 2007 with their first album, It's About Time, this has been one of the most important events of the year. But nothing, and I mean nothing can rival the excitement every twenty-something felt as the Jonas Brothers announced their Happiness Begins tour. I, for one, put my name in for ticket presale, have been following every single social media site related to the tour/group, and, of course, listening to the Jonas Brothers on repeat. And if you did manage to snag tickets, then you know that this is how your brain has been ever since they announced the tour.

1. Finding out that they're going on tour

2. Hopefully entering your name into the lottery to get presale tickets

3. Finding out that you actually get to buy presale tickets

4. Impatiently waiting for your presale tickets by listening to their songs on repeat

5. And remembering how obsessed you used to be (definitely still are) with them

6. Trying to coordinate the squad to go to the concert with you

7. Waiting in the Ticketmaster waiting room...

8. ...And feeling super frantic/frustrated because there are about 2000 people in line in front of you

9. Actually getting into the site to buy the tickets

10. Frantically trying to find seats you can actually pay for because, let's be real, you're twenty-something and poor

11. Managing to actually get the seats you want

12. Joyfully letting your squad know that you've done it

13. Crying a little because all of the dreams you've had since 2007 are coming true

14. Listening to every single Jonas Brothers song on repeat (again)

If you, like me, have finally fulfilled one of your dreams since childhood, then congrats, my friend! We've made it! Honestly, of all the things I've done in my adult life, this might be the one that child me is the most proud of.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Problem With Season 8 Of 'Game Of Thrones' Isn't Just In The Creators — It's The Fans, Too

Let's not allow our own fallible hopes for more, ruin what we had in front of us.
21
views

Season 8 Episode 5 was masterful, but it won't get that credit because the tide has turned with fans; Season 8 won't be perceived as good because hardcore fans have decided so.

This season was never going to end satisfyingly, so we should shut up and try to enjoy the end to a series we've been with so long.

I once overheard the saying, "happiness is reality minus expectations," and I can't help but think it applies to the dissatisfaction fans all over the world seem to have with the ending of "Game of Thrones." We, as a fan base, fell in love with our theories and when the canonical story unfolded in front of our eyes and lacked what we wished it didn't, we're all left with the taste of wildfire in our mouths. I know it's cool to hate GoT right now, but don't miss the chance to appreciate this show, and the spectacle it creates so incredibly before it's gone.

Live look-in on what it's like defending Thrones online this season.


The decision to make Thrones have shortened seasons and longer episodes were single-handedly the worst choices the show could make. Fitting that a show with Jaime Lannister has a single-handed reason for anything. You can't replace the real-time, week-to-week, break that helps aid character development. Simply making episodes longer doesn't replace that, in fact, it makes the story feel even more rushed.

The number of episodes in Season 7 and 8 and their respective duration were released well before the episodes aired. In some ways, this was the original sin of trying to end Thrones. It annoyed fans who grew accustomed to 10 episodes a season. That length makes sense when you consider how much world building and storylines need to be fleshed out each year.

However, fans realized were told just how little screen time was left in the series virtually right after the series wrapped up Season 6 — arguably the greatest stretch of episodes by any show in TV history — the realization became apparent: Whoever is running the show wants to be done with it.

It's actually pretty obvious why they would want to be done with it as well, and I'm not even factoring in the bullshit internet outrage the entire cast & crew has had to deal with for the entire duration of the show.

D&D; (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunners) couldn't handle the weight of this epic saga. Their imaginations crushed under the climactic pressure of George R. R. Martin's brainchild like the Mountain and the Viper.

In the beginning, the Thrones writing staff had an abundance of source material at their disposal. The promise of "The Winds of Winter" being finished before the show was over seemed like a sure thing, but it never happened. G.R.R.M. never really upheld his end of the bargain. He recently admitted he hasn't even started the last book, "A Dream of Spring."

To the defense of D&D;, they never signed up to create fan-fiction. There is a discernible difference in quality when the show has source material to work with and when they have the Spark Notes to work with. As a fan, I knew going into this newest season of Thrones that it would be a diminished product.

As much as it hurts, Tormund should've died in this fight.


The show showed a lack of convictions in Season 7 and some rushed storytelling, too. This isn't to say the season was utter garbage overall (though it was pretty bad). The actors, writers like Bryan Cogman, and production designers did everything in their power to deliver a great show.

The best non-battle moment in all of S7. www.youtube.com

No matter how silly it was that nearly everyone survived that encounter beyond the wall with the Night King, it will never take away some of the iconic moments Season 7 was able to produce.

The TV show, whether they think it's what fans want or not, has chiseled down the cast to a handful with two main focuses. Essentially this has been the Dany and Jon show for the past 12 episodes. Us fans got used to losing important characters at the drop of a hat, but when season 7 didn't much deliver, it pointed toward the show following a more formulaic route. Thrones decided to save most of those deaths for the endgame. Which is honestly fine with me.

I am confident the novels (if they're ever finished) will be much more fulfilling and will end in a completely different manner. The novels won't be afraid to make us hurt, and George R. R. Martin is fine with taking his time — a luxury the show doesn't have.

This show was never gonna end 'well,' but it does have to end. The 'Cleganebowl' was everything I could've hoped for. The way Jaime and Cersei ended their Shakespearean romance was tragic and beautiful. The goodbye between Tyrion and Jaime may be my favorite moment of S8 so far. Let's not allow our own fallible hopes for more, ruin what we had in front of us.

After all, Ramsay Bolton said it best.

If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention... www.youtube.com

Related Content

Facebook Comments