The GW Hatchet
|Owner(s)||Hatchet Publications, Inc.|
|Headquarters||2148 F Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20052
The GW Hatchet is an independent student newspaper at the George Washington University. Founded in 1904, it is the second-oldest newspaper in the District of Columbia, behind only The Washington Post. It also serves as the newspaper of record for the University's archives.
The Hatchet, known as The University Hatchet in its early days, has been named the best non-daily student newspaper in the country by the Society of Professional Journalists many times over its long history.
The paper derives its name from the implement apocryphally used by George Washington to chop down his family's cherry tree.
In 1993, The GW Hatchet was incorporated as an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit, and the paper has been editorially and financially independent of the University since then. It is run by a board of directors composed of Hatchet editors, former staff members, a GW student, a GW professor and professionals in the media industry. Daily operations are overseen by the full-time general manager and treasurer with assistance from the advertising manager. All other business and editorial positions are filled by current GW students and the editor in chief serves as the corporation's president. For many years, the University only charged the paper $1 in rent for their fully controlled townhouse in Washington, D.C. but began charging monthly rent at reduced rates as of 2006.
The GW Hatchet publishes 7,500 copies every Monday throughout the school semesters and a special freshman orientation issue during the summer recess. In 1998, The Hatchet launched a website, www.gwhatchet.com, which has won many awards including a National Pacemaker Award in 2006 and 2010.
Over the course of The Hatchet's long history, the paper has broken many stories that have been picked up by national news organizations. Recently, The Hatchet was the first news organization to cover election night 2008 celebrations around D.C. The paper also broke former university president Stephen Joel Trachtenberg's decision to retire, as well as the selection of current University president Steven Knapp.
The Hatchet office is located at the heart of the George Washington University campus on 22nd and F streets in Washington, D.C. All back issues of The Hatchet are accessible through the Special Collections Research Center at the Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library, located at 2130 H Street NW, Washington, D.C.
The mission of The GW Hatchet is, "to follow, educate, and inform members of The George Washington University and Foggy Bottom communities."
Washington, D.C. lawsuit
In March 2015, the nonprofit real estate arm of The Hatchet sued the city of Washington, D.C. in D.C. Superior Court over a disputed property tax bill of $17,000, arguing that a request for a property tax exemption had been wrongfully denied (under D.C. law, schools, colleges and universities are exempt from property taxes). The city itself took the stance that neither The Hatchet nor its real estate arm qualify as educational organizations under D.C. law. As of December 2016 the lawsuit is still ongoing.
The Hatchet has won numerous journalism awards, including:
- the Society of Professional Journalists' Finalist for Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper in the Nation and National Finalist for General Photography in 2011
- the Society of Professional Journalists' Mark of Excellence Award for Best All-Around Non-Daily Newspaper in the Nation in 2003, 2004 and 2007, and the award for Best All-Around Non-Daily Newspaper in the Region in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011
- the Society of Professional Journalists' Mark of Excellence Award for Spot News Reporting in 2003
- the Society of Professional Journalists' Regional Editorial Writing Award (first place), Regional Feature Photography Award (first place), Regional General News Photography Award (first place), Regional Best Affiliated Web Site (first place), and Regional Online Sports Reporting Award (third place) in 2011
- the Society of Professional Journalists' Regional Sports Photography Award (third place), Regional Editorial Writing Award (first place), Regional Sports Writing Award (second place), and Regional Best Affiliated Web Site (first place) in 2010
- the Society of Professional Journalists' national finalist for sports writing in 2009 (Regional first-place winner), Regional Photo Illustration Award (third place), Regional Feature Writing Award (third place), Regional General Column Writing Award (first place), Regional Best Affiliated Website (second place), Regional Online Sports Reporting(second place) in 2009
- the Society of Professional Journalists' Regional Breaking News Reporting Award (second and third place), Regional Sports Writing Award (first and third place), Regional Editorial Writing Award (third place), Regional General Column Writing (first and third place), Regional Breaking News Photography Award (second and third place), Regional Online News Reporting Award (third place), Regional Online Feature Reporting (first place), Regional Online Sports Reporting Award (first place), Regional Best Affiliated Web Site (second place) in 2008
- the Society of Professional Journalists' National Finalist for Online Sports Reporting, and 18 Regional Awards in 2007
- the Society of Professional Journalists' National Finalist for General News Reporting, and 19 Regional Awards in 2006
- the Society of Professional Journalists' Mark of Excellence 13 regional awards in 2005
- the Society of Professional Journalists' National Finalist for Feature Writing, Best All-Around Daily Newspaper in the Nation in 2004
- the Society of Professional Journalists' Mark of Excellence 7 regional awards in 2002
- the Society of Professional Journalists' National Finalist Online Spot News Reporting and 13 Regional Awards in 2001
- the Associated Collegiate Press Newspaper Pacemaker Award in 2005, 2008 and 2011
- the Associated Collegiate Press Newspaper Pacemaker Award finalist in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2011
- the Associated Collegiate Press Online Pacemaker Award in 2006, 2008 and 2010
- the Associated Collegiate Press Online Pacemaker Award finalist in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010
- the Associate Collegiate Press Individual Awards: 2 in 2010 and 1 in 2011
- 15 SPJ Mark of Excellence regional awards, the most for any newspaper in the region, in 2009
Some notable Hatchet alumni include:
- Diana B. Henriques, New York Times reporter and winner of the 2004 Polk Award
- L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, was a Hatchet sports writer in the early 1930s
- Deborah Solomon, part of a Wall Street Journal team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting
- Mireya Navarro, part of a New York Times team that won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting
- Mark Olshaker, winner of a 1994 Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program and author of two New York Times bestsellers
- Mark Schleifstein, winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting and part of a New Orleans Times-Picayune team that won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service
- Joye Brown and B.D. Colen, winners of the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting at New York Newsday
- Dick Polman, political columnist at The Philadelphia Inquirer
- Anders Gyllenhaal, vice president, news and Washington editor for The McClatchy Company and former chairman of the Pulitzer Prize Board
- David Holt, an Oklahoma State Senator, was associate sports editor 1999–2000
- Mosheh Oinounou, executive producer of CBSN; senior producer for CBS News' CBS This Morning where he won a 2013 Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism
- Jake Sherman, Congressional correspondent for Politico
- Jeremy Diamond, CNN political reporter
- 2016-2017: Eleanor Smith
- 2015-2016: Colleen Murphy 
- 2014-2015: Brianna Gurciullo 
- 2013-2014: Cory Weinberg
- 2012-2013: Priya Anand
- 2011-2012: Lauren French
- 2010-2011: Lauren French
- 2009-2010: Alex Byers
- 2008-2009: Eric Roper
- 2007-2008: Jake Sherman
- 2006-2007: Caitlin Carroll
- 2005-2006: Michael Barnett
- 2004-2005: Brian Costa
- 2003-2004: Mosheh Oinounou
- 2002-2003: Kate Stepan
- 2001-2002: Russ Rizzo
- 2000-2001: Richard Murphy
- Guide to the GW Hatchet Records, 1904-2007, Special Collections Research Center, Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library, The George Washington University
- Scott Nover (12 December 2016). "A David and Goliath Battle: D.C. Fighting GW Hatchet in Court over $17,000". Media File DC. Retrieved 13 December 2016.