Almost a year ago, 26 students came into 202 York St. to start publishing a newspaper. We faced the daunting challenge of putting together a daily paper that would reflect a institution ever-changing, yet seemingly timeless, an institution that was so much a part of us, yet of which we were but a small part.
We faced, in other words, the eternal conundrum of journalism: How can journalists understand — not just hear about, but really understand — the challenges and needs of the many communities we serve?
As much as journalists strive to let stories be driven solely by the pulse of everyday life, journalists and editors necessarily take part in the stories they — we — write about. Whether through story selection, or the choice of whose point of view a story from which a story is told, or where in the paper a story appears, journalism, and journalists, can never be purely objective.
And yet as editors, we have spent a year striving to publish a newspaper that accurately, truthfully and fully reflects the whole of our Yale and New Haven communities. In that time, we have become more aware of the expansiveness and complexity of this place we’ve been calling home. By expanding our coverage of New Haven public education, student groups, Yale’s internationalization and the arts, our coverage has become more comprehensive and our pages of broader interest.
As editors, we leave behind a paper that we hope has become a more accurate reflection of your world. Conversations with readers indicate that though progress has been made toward that goal, there is much to be done; we have faith that our successors will continue this work. We encourage you, our readers, to keep holding us accountable. As our Web presence grows — check online in a few weeks for a fully revamped Web site — we will be able to invite more participation from our readers and make this newspaper even more of a dialogue between its editors and the community we serve.
As we leave our second home at 202 York St. for the last time, we see a University on the cusp of great changes. The likely construction of two new colleges will change the nature of campus life, just as the ongoing debates over college rankings, early admissions and financial aid will change the composition of those who arrive on campus each fall. The internationalization of the University contains great promise, but also great complexities as Yale continues working with nations with poor records of human rights and civil liberties. And as the union debate at Yale-New Haven Hospital grinds on, questions of town-gown relationships will continue to be politicized.
But the promise of change implies the potential for improvement, and we look forward to the News’ continuing to spark informed debate among the entirety of the Yale community. Nothing, Yale included, is perfect, but together, and with care, we can make sure it stays something we’re proud to be a part of.