Adapting tradition to fit changing times

As the names listed to the left of this space change over to those of the 129th Yale Daily News Managing Board, the incoming editors must confront, as has every board before us, the essential questions of what this newspaper’s role in our community is and how we can best fulfill that role.

Without question, the Yale Daily News is foremost a campus newspaper, but the boundaries of Yale’s campus are not as clear-cut as the fortress-like walls of Old Campus might suggest. As the scope of the Yale community expands, so must the scope of this paper’s coverage. From partnerships with China to the proposed new residential colleges in Dixwell and the recent appointment of Yale’s first Muslim chaplain, Yale is evolving, and our board will strive to make these pages accurately reflect those changes. The recent debate over changing early admissions policy at our peer institutions has focused on the need for universities to become accessible to a broader swath of high-school seniors, but it is important for our coverage to reflect how multi-faceted Yale already is.

The Managing Board of 2008 inherits a paper whose coverage is already quite comprehensive, and we will uphold that tradition. Our success as a board will ultimately hinge upon our ability to inform you, our readers, and we take seriously our commitment to serve as Yale’s most thorough and accurate source of breaking news and in-depth features. We will continue tracking the growth of Yale as a global institution — in China, yes, but also, we hope, beyond that — and will pay close attention to what that overseas reach means for Yale students, an increasing number of whom are venturing abroad, and for Yale as an institution. Closer to home, we will continue to expand and deepen our coverage of New Haven, which is particularly important as Yale College and Yale-New Haven Hospital embark upon ambitious development plans that will bring Yale’s campus closer into the city’s Hill and Dixwell neighborhoods.

We also commit ourselves to expanding the scope and nuance of our coverage of Yale College and, specifically, of student life. Over the next 12 months, we will expand our coverage of issues important to students’ religious, cultural and political lives. Yalies, despite that common refrain, do not live in a bubble, and we will strive to show how larger issues of culture, race and class influence those living together in Yale’s Gothic halls. As part of this continued dedication to reflect the diverse interests of the Yale community, we will also continue to explore science and technology within both the University and its hospital.

And just as Yale must respond to a changing world, so too must the News. Here in our York Street offices, we are mindful of the increasingly digital face of journalism. This year, we are embarking on an ambitious plan to improve our presence online and become even more timely and comprehensive with additional online coverage and features. Although we trace our history to 1878, we are also a product of our own time, and we will strive to be not only a reliable source of news, but also an innovative one.

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