The award-winning newspaper of Reed College, the Quest has been the voice of Reed students, faculty, and staff for more than 100 years. Published every Friday morning, Quest coverage brings the latest news to the Reed community online, in our app, and in print. As a member of the Associated Collegiate Press, the Quest also participates in conferences and intercollegiate writing awards at the national level. By maintaining a free press accountable to the student body, we seek to both serve the Reed community with informative reporting and provide a platform for the voices of students, faculty, and staff.

When I first walked into Reed’s student publications office last fall, I was struck by the sheer number of words in the space. Teetering stacks of newsprint vied for dominance with worn notebooks and overfull cups of coffee. Bookshelves, stuffed with style manuals and volumes of press law, seemed perpetually on the edge of collapse. Signatures, doodles, and words of advice to future editors covered the walls — weaving their way around posters and framed awards from the Associated Collegiate Press. Even the ceiling (and one particularly unlucky ventilation duct) had been annotated — in some places in many inks, as new generations of writers made their own reply to the words of their predecessors. 

It was, in a word, overwhelming. And it still is, even as I enter my second year as a Reed student and as an editor of this illustrious paper. It has often been said that journalism is “the first rough draft of history,” and it is. But at Reed, the Quest is also the final draft of history. As the college’s alumni magazine said of the paper several years ago, “the Quest is the sole source for many episodes in the college’s history, since no other record remains.” 

Our reporters cover events around campus, like this community production of As You Like It.

That responsibility — to contribute to a paper that has been, for better or worse, the voice of Reed since 1913 — is a heavy one to bear. But it is also a great privilege to be trusted with the history of this place, and the stories of the students, faculty, and staff who walk its halls. To write for the Quest is not simply to join a club, but to add your pen to a story that’s been a hundred years in the telling, and may be a hundred more.

Our new mobile app puts the Quest in your pocket.

Nevertheless, times are changing, and we can, and must, change with them. Traditional newspaper printing gets more expensive every year, while the campus paper — once an institution of undergraduate communities across America — has become less and less important as a foundation of the public square. The odds of the Quest actually breaking a story — one that you haven’t already heard on Instagram or through the college grapevine — are lower than they’ve ever been. 

As a result, this is a time of change at the Quest, one which has already begun and will likely last for years. We’re investing in innovation in ways we never have before: completely overhauling our website twice in the last year and launching a native mobile app to put the paper in your back pocket (one you can download at reedquest.org/app). We’re changing the style of our reporting, and expanding our coverage to include the stories that affect our world, and not just ourselves. And we’re opening ourselves up to new approaches to storytelling, and welcoming programmers, photographers, scientists, and artists to tell stories driven by data, interactivity, and non-traditional approaches to reporting. 

Now more than ever, the Quest is a paper that welcomes all students, regardless of their academic disciplines, interests, or previous journalistic experience. Many of our contributors had never written for a paper before joining the Quest. And many of them fulfill roles that might not be recognizable as traditional journalism. All are welcome, and all are free to pursue the stories they’re passionate about, wherever they lead.

Wherever those stories take us, we see ourselves on the cusp of a new year, and of a unique opportunity to serve this community in new and exciting ways. Our story, after all, has only just begun.

Join the Team

Meetings are every Monday afternoon in the Quest office (GCC 047), a music-filled, blanket-covered space beneath the cafeteria that is perpetually in danger of being buried beneath its own teetering stacks of newsprint.

We’re always looking for new reporters to join the team, no experience required (really, we promise!), and will be actively seeking new feature writers and photographers in fall 2023. Join us!

Send a Letter to the Editors

We accept all letters that are free of ad hominem attacks and derogatory or discriminatory language. Anonymous letters will be published at the editors’ discretion. Submit a letter by sending it to quest@reed.edu.

Open Editing Nights

Here at the Quest, we believe in transparency and openness above all else, so any member of the Reed community is welcome to drop by the Quest office on Wednesday nights to chat with the editors as we put the finishing touches on the paper before sending it to our printer. Join us for our caffeine-fueled rush to the finish line, learn the ropes of layout and copy-editing, or ask any questions you have about the Quest and our editing process.

The Quest Is Yours to Write

Being a Quest reporter can be difficult, it’s true. We’ll ask you to drink more caffeine than is probably healthy, and chase that big scoop late into the night. But at the end of the day, when the Quediting Night playlist stops and the paper is on its way to the printer, writing for the paper can be incredibly rewarding. The Quest offers all students the opportunity to be published, learn new skills, and work with a team passionate about journalism and always ready to follow the next big story. We hope you’re excited to join us.