Dear Cavalier Daily alumni,

As we turn the page on a uniquely challenging year, I would like to share some stories with you all about how The Cavalier Daily managed to cover a semester like none other. Although we continue to document this historic story, gone (for now) are the days when editors and reporters would meet in the CD newsroom to discuss articles and lay out the print newspaper. The pandemic has required us to fundamentally change the way we do journalism at the CD — but our core mission of keeping the University of Virginia community informed remains the same.

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For the last nine months, the CD has been operating almost entirely remotely to ensure the health and well-being of our staff. Reporters now pitch story ideas via Zoom, editors text with their writers, and the print newspaper is designed from our bedrooms — in many cases, our childhood bedrooms.

CDAA End of Year video

For myself, and many of our alumni, bonding with other students in the CD office was a highlight of getting involved with the student newspaper. It may seem hard to believe that we could continue to operate at a high-level under these circumstances, but our staff is more energized than ever to share stories about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected life at UVA.

Yet the pandemic has made it much more difficult for the CD to maintain its normal operations. Due to a decline in advertising revenue brought on by the pandemic, we had to reduce the frequency of our print edition this semester and instead focus on building a more robust digital presence — prompting the CD to launch a website redesign and embrace more innovative forms of storytelling, including podcastsvideos, in-depth social media stories, and data-driven journalism by polling students. As we have shown all semester, we are prepared to tackle the challenges of operating a student newspaper during a pandemic — but we need your help to continue moving forward.

As we prepare for a new semester facing many of the same challenges, your continued financial support to the CDAA will help us meet our operating expenses, experiment with new forms of digital media, provide staff training, and offer more professional development opportunities so that we can uphold our reputation as one of the nation’s leading college newspapers.

Please support our mission of keeping the UVA community informed while creating opportunities for the next generation of journalists. You can do so by making a tax deductible donation to The Cavalier Daily Alumni Association today.

It has been an honor to serve as Editor-in-Chief during this unprecedented year, and I’m grateful for the experience. I hope you have a safe and healthy holiday season!

Nik Popli
Editor-in-Chief, The Cavalier Daily