The GW Hatchet is an editorially and financially independent student newspaper serving The George Washington University and Foggy Bottom communities. First published October 5, 1904, it is the second-oldest continuously published newspaper in the District, after The Washington Post. Since its inception The Hatchet– deriving its name from the implement apocryphally used by George Washington to chop down his family’s cherry tree- has been a uniting force for the University and the community.
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. All business and editorial positions are filled by current GW students. The general manager and treasurer oversee daily operations with assistance from the advertising manager, and the editor in chief serves as the corporation’s president. The GW Hatchet publishes 7,500 copies once each week during the academic year on Mondays, in addition to a special freshman orientation issue during the summer recess.
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 president Stephen Joel Trachtenberg’s decision to retire, as well as the selection of the current university president, Steven Knapp. As the newspaper of record for the University’s archives, all back issues are accessible at the Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library, including award-winning special editions on such events as the assassination attempt on President Reagan and the events of 9/11 in D.C.