Tim Dodson, a rising second-year in the College, has distinguished himself early in his University career as an active member of The Cavalier Daily. Having only worked for the paper since 2015, Tim already serves as News Editor. Below, he discusses his passion for his Cavalier Daily work, including his role models and friends on staff, as well as what he is looking forward to in the years to come.
Why did you become involved with The Cavalier Daily?
I’ve lived in Charlottesville my entire life and I’ve known about The Cavalier Daily for several years — I distinctly remember that it was the main source I went to when the controversy over University President Teresa Sullivan’s resignation and reinstatement was unfolding in the summer of 2012 and it was a topic that a lot of people in theCharlottesville area were talking about.
The Cavalier Daily was the first organization I joined when I got to Grounds because this is a community I care so much about and I enjoy telling stories and interacting with the people who live here, whether they are students, professors, or even members of City Council. Given that The Cavalier Daily is the oldest newspaper in Charlottesville, it seemed like a natural place for me to gravitate to in order to tell the stories of the people who live, work, study and travel here.
What has been your favorite part of working at The Cavalier Daily so far? What are you looking forward to the most moving forward?
The best part of working at The Cavalier Daily so far has simply been the sense of community I feel in the office and with the other staff members. Everyone — including the writers, editors, photographers, graphic designers, and business staffers— works so hard to support the online and print editions of the paper and I’ve enjoyed becoming friends with other students who I might not have met otherwise. Some of the editors, like our Editor-In-Chief Dani Bernstein and Managing Editor Kayla Eanes, have also been role models and mentors to me, so I’ve really appreciated that aspect of the paper’s community as well.
I am most looking forward to welcoming some new writers into the news section in the fall! We had some excellent reporters join the section this past spring and I can’t wait to see who else will join the news team when we get back from summer break in just a few months.
How has your time working for the newspaper impacted your time at the University of Virginia?
Working for The Cavalier Daily and stepping into the News Editor position this spring has really given me a sense of purpose at the University — telling interesting stories and providing valuable, relevant information to the University community. The paper has also given me a better appreciation for the history of the University and the people who work to make this a special place to study. The Cavalier Daily is essentially a record of the University’s history and when I think about how the articles we are writing today will be a source of information for people in the years to come, I am honored to be contributing to this historical record.
What would you like to see the paper accomplish in the upcoming years?
Our Online Manager Leo Dominguez and his staff have been putting a tremendous amount of work into a new website for The Cavalier Daily, so I am looking forward to the rollout of a new online platform and how the new website will compliment and enhance our literary content — and the online reader’s experience in general.
Is there a particular story that you worked on that stood out more than any other? If so, what was it and why did it stand out?
Back in November, I reported on the announcement of Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo’s retirement. The experience of interviewing Longo for this story, as well as speaking with former Vice Mayor Meredith Richards — who was involved in the process of hiring Longo — was something I found particularly interesting because of Richards’ insight into the city’s history and I think Longo’s philosophy of relational policing fits into a larger conversation our country is having about what the role of police should be.
Did you have a background in journalism before your involvement with TheCavalier Daily?
Yes, I wrote for The Western Hemisphere at Western Albemarle High School for all four years of high school and served as Editor-In-Chief during my senior year. I have also worked as a news anchor at Newstalk 107.5 FM/1260 AM WCHV since August of 2015.
This summer I am interning with Charlottesville Tomorrow.