Walk into our building at 202 York St. on any given weeknight, and you’ll immediately notice the roiling energy and excitement of the newsroom. Our writers furiously type and discuss pieces with their editors. Our production staff masterfully lays out pages to be sent to the printer. The scene may look chaotic, but this year, we look forward to welcoming everyone into our building with a smile — maybe even with a slice of Claire’s cake.
Change has come to the Yale Daily News. This week, the managing board of 2021 begins its term leading the nation’s oldest college daily, and its members cannot wait to leave their mark. We see our journalism not only as a nightly responsibility, but also as a public good — a way to build a more respectful, accountable and equitable Yale. We are committed to our long-standing purpose, telling stories and holding power accountable. But with a renewed focus on opening up our community and our newsroom, we will introduce new initiatives, such as holding writing and photography workshops and highlighting Yale’s rich arts scene through multimedia. In doing so, we hope to fulfill what we see as the News’ mission: to serve and engage the Yale and New Haven community not just as reporters and onlookers but as participants.
Yale is inextricable from New Haven, and our coverage must reflect this. Yale students are New Haven residents, as are our professors, administrators and staff. Moreover, the News is the only free print publication in the city. This year, we will redouble our efforts to report and editorialize respectfully on our broader community, building trust and relationships with those we cover.
As an independent newspaper, holding Yale accountable is one of our most important functions. Over the past year, our journalists have uncovered and reported on multiple accounts of sexual misconduct on the part of students, professors and administrators. Our reporters covered the behind-the-scenes discussions to establish a new professional school. We will continue in our pursuit of the truth and our commitment to rigorous investigative journalism. But we also recognize that there is room in our paper for coverage of all the good on this campus, not just the bad. The artistic, academic and athletic achievements of our community members are newsworthy, and will be printed in our pages.
With our long and complicated history we must come to a reckoning with how the News has covered cultural centers, affinity groups and spaces for marginalized people on campus. We will make every effort to repair and strengthen these relationships and improve our coverage of underrepresented groups at Yale. In addition, we are committed to diversifying our staff by race, gender and socioeconomic status through our one-on-one coffee chats and our staffer stipend program. Our content is better when we reflect those we serve.
We plan to issue News’ Views columns more frequently to respond to the interests of our community and encourage nuanced conversations on campus by reacting to topical issues and controversies with timely editorials. Last year, the News was one of the first campus publications to support Yale’s Ethnicity, Race and Migration faculty members in their fight to make the program a department. We also editorialized on Yale’s capital campaign and our internal culture. But there’s more that we can do: we plan to write about New Haven politics and movements, student activism and important administrative decisions.
This year, our doors will be open. We were all once first years who tentatively walked into this building for our first edits or shifts, unsure where to find the newsroom or how to write a lede. To those of you who are considering coming down to 202 York St. — whether you just arrived at Yale a month ago or have been here for years — welcome. We hope that you will love the News as much as we do.