There is no shortage of traditions at Yale, but for the 30 of us who have served as the 128th managing board of the Yale Daily News, one of the anticipated annual events on this campus is our own changing of the guard. There is a tendency among departing editors to wax nostalgic about how we have shaped the news and how the news has shaped us. This year, though, we are much more eager to look forward to the future of this paper and this university.
At the beginning of our tenure, we remarked that for all the changes Yale has undergone in the past century, many of the core issues — the need for more dormitory space, the shifting economic landscape, the reevaluation of University priorities in an increasingly global framework — have remained the same. After a review of our lead stories from the past year, that statement seems more true than ever: New residential colleges are again in the works; some of the most pressing questions for students and for New Haven can still be answered in terms of dollars and cents; the leader of the world’s most populous nation came to address Yale just after meeting with one of our alumni in the White House. In some ways, these paths can seem linear, if not circuitous.
But this campus has also seen a great deal of change in the past year, and so has the News. And as these and other issues grow more complex and challenging, our paper continues growing to meet those challenges. Having cemented the changes piloted by our predecessors, our vision of the Yale community has included an unprecedented focus in arenas that were once far from our minds: The growth of public health issues and interest on campus has been reflected in our pages, and athlete culture stands among a field of student life issues that we have explored in greater depth and with greater statistical authority than in years past. Unparalleled unity within our production team brought scene to new visual heights, and a strong business team helped send us to Torino to cover Yale’s Olympic talents.
On a daily basis, though, the most challenging aspect of the News’ evolution perennially lies in training the next generation of journalists. We have been lucky enough to gain a new partner in that enterprise through the Yale Journalism Initiative, but our greatest strength as a paper has consistently come from our staff, which includes some of the strongest investigative reporters Yale has ever seen. In training them to move beyond the “he said-she said” dialogue that characterizes many drier news stories, we have been consistently impressed by their own initiative and talent. It is to their credit that you know about the discussion of plans for new residential colleges, for example.
Having seen what they can offer as the heart of this institution, we are excited for the coming year. With the rest of the Yale community, we are anxious to watch the next managing board of the Yale Daily News continue to further deepen the coverage we have broadened. It turns out we were unable to avoid waxing nostalgic after all, but our past year suggests that there are a great many changes to come at this university, and we are confident that our successors will have much to say in the coming year about the new traditions being forged at Yale, as well as those that continue to evolve.