The Oberlin Review

“Grape”’s Editorial Reflects Dogmatism, Outrage Politics of Oberlin Students

Jackson Zinn-Rowthorn, Contributing Writer

September 21, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Oberlin students, I’m glad to say, have retreated a few steps in recent years from the sort of divisive, outrage-fueled politics that would routinely erupt into conflagrations of bad discourse and unsolvable conflict on campus. This paradigm of activism flourished under Obama, but it doesn’t play as well in the current political era. The 2016 election offered something of a reality check. Suddenly our righteousness didn’t look so noble; our dogmatism didn’t look so pure. We are a little more open-minded now, and a little less reactionary. The campus feels calmer and more welcoming. It’s been a gratifying transformation to watch. So, I was disheartened when last week The Grape chose to publish a flippant and br...

Paying Columnists Will Increase Accessibility

Nathan Carpenter, Columnist

February 23, 2018

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

In recent weeks, my fellow Review columnist Kameron Dunbar has published two pieces that succinctly and cogently identified instances in which Oberlin campus publications — namely, the Review and The Grape — have failed to assemble editorial staffs that reflect our community’s diversity and, as a result, have published pieces that fall short of the standards of rigorous inquiry and commitment to social justice that our community holds itself to. As a former Review opinions editor who is studying abroad this semester, I certainly understand the intensity of working for a campus publication. It can be a relatively thankless, if personally fulfilling job — the hours are long and come in addition to normal acade...

“Mexicocoa” Shows Need for Journalistic Diversity

Kameron Dunbar, Columnist

February 16, 2018

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

My mom taught me never to say “I told you so.” But, if there was ever a time to say it, that time would be now. Just two weeks after I called for greater diversity in campus journalism, The Grape, Oberlin’s edgiest news magazine, published a piece titled “Spicy Mexicocoa.” In short, the article was a disaster. It centered around a recipe for a “spicy” mixed drink composed of only hot cocoa, milk, a shot of tequila, and a half shot of honey or maple syrup. Though the ingredients list was brief, there’s nothing on the list that would make the beverage “spicy” to anyone with a palate that can handle even the weakest chai tea brew. Beyond the absence of spice, the beverage referenced was a “Mexic...

Jake Bernstein and Luke Fortney, Editors-in-Chief of The Grape

Jake Bernstein and Luke Fortney, Editors-in-Chief of The Grape

February 9, 2018

College seniors Luke Fortney and Jake Berstein are Editors-in-Chief of The Grape, Oberlin’s biweekly alternative newspaper that has printing since 1999. Fortney has worked at The Grape for three semesters as a copy editor and contributing writer before starting as an EIC in fall 2017. Berstein joined the publication the spring of his sophomore year, working as a contributing writer and features editor before becoming an EIC last fall. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. How ...

Whiteness of Student Publications Threatens Integrity

Kameron Dunbar, Columnist

December 1, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

When’s the last time you saw a Nazi at the grocery store? If not yesterday, maybe you saw a picture of one in The New York Times’ profile of Tony Hovater — bonafide and self-avowed white nationalist. In their article “A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland,” originally titled “In America’s Heartland, Nazi Sympathizer Next Door,” the Times willingly gave a white supremacist an uncontested platform for his unabashedly racist views. When faced with criticism over the style of reporting and lapses made in nearly all respects, the Times defended their coverage of bigoted Hovater in “Readers Accuse Us of Normalizing Nazi Sympathizer, We Respond.” They responded, and responded poorly. “Our reporter and hi...

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