Writing history, beyond the breaking

Debate swirls around local elections, disparities within student housing prompt discussion of dormitory construction, and newly forged relationships with Chinese universities force Yale to rethink its role as a global institution. These were among the top stories that ran in the Yale Daily News in 1905.

While the University has been fundamentally reshaped in the intervening century, each incarnation of Yale’s daily newspaper finds itself faced with a handful of consistently recurring issues in addition to a wealth of new topics of the day. As the names of the 128th Managing Board replace those of our predecessors on this page, we envision a newspaper that can continue to address the pressing issues of the day while seeking to answer questions that have for too long gone unasked.

The past century has seen America’s influence spread far beyond its borders, and Yale’s presence abroad has expanded in parallel. But that presence brings with it tremendous challenges and responsibilities. As a newspaper, we have already begun to explore the nature of Yale’s increasingly global character, but we will more closely examine how the University uses its influence to disseminate Yale’s ideals along with its name.

A more global focus reflects, in part, the degree to which the News has evolved over time. Our coverage has expanded radically since the days when this space was frequently devoted to criticism of the junior prom committee. Closer to home, the most noticeable change has been a greater focus on the city of New Haven. Yale cannot be separated from its surroundings, and the sharp rise in muggings and violent crimes we have reported this year provides evidence that town-gown relations are far from flawless. With this in mind, we will delve further into the roots of crime throughout the Elm City, with a view to the city’s continued efforts at economic development and the public school system’s expansion toward the heart of the Yale campus.

That said, we are fundamentally a campus paper, and we will continue to focus on stories born from Yale itself. Our continued emphasis on a further exploration of science and technology at Yale is one piece of our central dedication to students’ academic and recreational interests. We will bring a critical eye to the pressing issues that dominate campus dialogues, from basic quality of life issues to concerns about financial aid and the challenges of diverse recruiting at both the student and faculty levels.

On a daily basis, we will strive to foster informed dialogue on matters that impact the entire Yale community. In the year ahead, we plan to continue a strong tradition of breaking news coverage while adding a new emphasis on in-depth reporting through our daily features, our weekly scene section and particularly our newly recharged magazine — a publication that was launched in its original form with a push from this space 100 years ago.

In 1905, the News’ Managing Board wrote, “the paper will fill a need for the University which no other publication can hope to satisfy.” While our pages no longer carry advertisements for phonographs or sock garters, our fundamental vision has not changed. We aim to satisfy the campus’ need for coverage that is not only accurate and thorough, but that cuts to the heart of the issues that may continue to appear in these pages 100 years from now.

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