Previous Cavalier Daily editor-in-chiefs will remember the fake window which provides a rare glimpse of the outside world in what is now the basement of Newcomb Hall. During snowstorms, 90-degree heat waves and torrential downpour the view in the portrait remains the same — unchangeable. The Cavalier Daily, however, is not the same. Editors have come and gone, AP style has introduced new, seemingly ridiculous words to the lexicon, and yes, the media industry as a whole has changed more than anything else.
My first task as editor-in-chief this spring was to announce the new restructuring of the 124-year-old newspaper that I have carried with me, figuratively and literally, since stepping on Grounds three years ago. In August, the previously daily newspaper will become a semiweekly newsmagazine with daily production online. Multimedia, social media, iPad and mobile apps and a focus on reader engagement will supplement our digital coverage.
I have read many online comments, blog posts and articles lamenting the decision, deeming our efforts to retain the print editor subpar, so I want to tell you like I told those critics that this decision was motivated by our desire to maintain high quality news coverage and to train our writers to do the same. This is not an assertion, I know it. I know it, because in my three years at the newspaper I have edited every single section of it. I started writing for The Cavalier Daily as a first year, one of the many former high school editors, became the editor of that section and then rose to managing editor last year. Now as editor-in-chief I feel comfortable saying that more time to produce investigative, long-form stories with informative graphics and powerful photography is the way we need to move forward.
We are at the forefront of digital-first, and that’s exciting. Rather than being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century we are beating our own path. That, to me, is what future journalists need to do. Traditional journalism grew out of a passion for the truth, forming slowly as intellectual powerhouses stripped back bureaucracy and lambasted corruption the world over. In this new age of journalism, the same amount of initiative needs to be taken, and that responsibility is one we have willingly accepted.