Today at the News: You speak, we listen

After 24 sleepless hours last Sunday morning, about three dozen sophomores and juniors, whose names appear for the first time this morning in the space above, departed 202 York St., newly installed as the Managing Board of 2009: the 130th — and one of the largest — in the News’ history.

One week later, we are returning — nightly, at 6 p.m., and (in theory, at least) wide-awake — to our building, the News’ building. This time, however, we want to invite you to join us inside. All you need to do is ring the bell.

The door, beware, may swing open without warning. And the stacked mess of recent newspapers may induce tripping as you make your way inside. But successfully navigate through the week’s bundled stacks — past the Briton Hadden dedication plaque, the editor mailboxes and the leftover pizza boxes — and you will find yourself, quite literally, inside the News’ newsroom.

Exactly where we want you to be.

Last week, as a board, we convened four flights above — in the Boardroom — to decide what we stand for. The consensus was quick: You, the reader.

There are those who fear the era of journalism into which we are heading: Fight, they say, the blurring line between reporter and citizen. We, however, are excited — and energized — by the chance to recommit the News to accessibility, inclusiveness and the two-way dialogue that has made the Oldest College Daily the hub of campus dialogue for 13 decades.

Accessibility will come in many forms: more topic tags on the front page, special investigations into issues that matter to you, coverage that appeals to our readers in New Haven beyond downtown, in the graduate schools and on Science Hill. And, when our new Web site launches later this semester — a gift of the outgoing Managing Board of 2008 — reporting journals with shorter updates, video reports, News-casts, live blogging, slideshows; it goes on.

But if we want to call ourselves an accessible publication, we must make ourselves accessible — literally. We invite you into our home. We invite you to write, no matter your creed or your intended commitment. We want you to complain. We want you to share your passions and grievances in order to ensure that the News’ View is reflective of campus debate. We want you to do it all: take photos, design spreads, submit columns. This list, too, goes on.

Although the building is always open to you, we are designating a specific time — Tuesdays between 7 and 9 p.m. — for you to stop by. Food will be served; editors will be listening. Or e-mail us: editor@yaledailynews.com. (And soon, a public column will be unveiled for readers to reflect on the News and demand of its editors a constant consideration for our audience.)

All this, we hope, will generate an active — and provocative — dialogue. Just as editors in this space 128 years ago pledged that “it shall be our utmost endeavor to give a fair and unbiased representation of all occurrences and to reflect as near as possible the general opinion of the College,” Newsies later reminded the campus that “if we deem the popular opinion vitally wrong, we shall not hesitate to take an independent stand.” Us, too.

Today does not mark a new era. Our goals, ultimately, are no different than those of the 129 Managing Boards that came before us. Yet our tools to innovate and to expand have never before been so great.

So join us, now; stop by and ring that bell. Let’s make the Yale Daily News happen, night after night ­— together.

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