The month of September brings many things: a new class schedule, pumpkin spice lattes, lightweight sweaters and soccer games. It also means the leadership of the News is handed down to the next managing board. As our board year comes to a close, we are excited but ready to place this institution — which at times feels like a piece of newsprint and at others like the weight of a 140-year tradition — in new, capable hands.
Over the past year, we have watched and wielded the power that journalism can have on the world. Nationally, we heard women raise their voices and start a dialogue on sexual misconduct as part of the #MeToo movement; at the News, we covered the issues most important to our Yale community — from fraternity houses to the White House. We heard the first female voice join the storied Whiffenpoofs; we cheered on the Bulldogs as the football team captured its first outright Ivy title since 1980 and the men’s lacrosse and heavyweight crew teams won national championships; and we saw the city mobilize in support of its undocumented residents. This was the year of “Psychology and the Good Life,” and the continuation of constructive campus conversations about mental health. We have made mistakes, and we have learned along the way. We used the pages of the paper to hold powerful people accountable and to tell the stories of people whose voices are not always heard.
As journalists have reported on important events this year, they have also become part of a larger story about the important role that journalism serves in the modern world. Attacks on the media and the people who comprise it have grown this year, coming from elected officials and our peers alike. Accurate, incisive journalism is needed more than ever, and we have seen firsthand how it can inform and empower. The journalism industry continues to grapple with hard decisions, and journalists are under threat both physically and financially. As journalists have done across the country this year, we too have striven to report responsibly about the issues most important to the Yale community and, in doing so, to shed a bit more light and truth on the place we call home.
We are also proud of the steps we have taken as an editorial board to make the News a more impactful institution and to better ensure its longevity This year, the News proudly and presciently integrated the business and editorial sides of the board, enabling the entire paper to operate as a cohesive team. We have turned more attention to our digital presence, making greater use of multimedia and social media to expand our reach and enrich our storytelling. We have opened the doors to 202 York St. a bit wider, recruiting from the largest Yale College classes in history and increasing the size of the Yale Daily News stipend program to support more budding newsies, from reporters to illustrators to videographers.
As the News celebrates its 140th year on campus, we continue to balance tradition and innovation. We redesigned aspects of the print paper while building our digital platforms. We trained over 100 new staffers and welcomed just as many alumni back to campus for a reunion this spring. And we know, now more than ever, that what makes the News special is not just the final product that awaits students in the dining halls each morning, but the people who spend their time and energy painstakingly putting it together every night.
We will miss the Claire’s cake, the quotes of the night, the wine and crepes, the dusty archives and the goodnight sign-offs. Contributing to community dialogue and documenting the historical record is a privilege and a responsibility that we have always taken seriously, even if we had some fun along the way.
The paper may not look substantially different in the coming days and weeks, but a new group of editors and contributors will be steering it through the year ahead. If you would like to have a place here, we will help you find it. We hope the next generation of writers, coders, copy editors, artists, designers, photographers, business managers and social media prodigies will continue this tradition, and we know they will make us proud. Our readers deserve it.