By Jennifer Calfas, Daily Staff Reporter
Published December 10, 2012
More than 100 staff members of The Michigan Daily filled the second floor of the Stanford Lipsey Student Publications Building to elect the paper’s new editor in chief on Nov. 9. After hours of posing questions, the staff chose candidate Andrew Weiner, a Public Policy junior, to serve as the editor-in-chief for the 2013 calendar year.
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The staff-wide elections are held every fall semester to determine the — editor in chief and editorial page editor for the following year. The remaining sections — news, arts, sports, photo, copy and design — determine their managing editors through separate, section-specific elections.
The managing editor is appointed by the paper’s Management Desk, consisting of the managing editors of each section, the senior editors and the editor-in-chief.
Weiner, who previously served as managing editor and editorial page editor, said he wants to focus on improving the paper’s online presence and interaction with readers.
“We’re kind of in the same boat as pretty much every other newspaper,” Weiner said. “We’re working in a much smaller market, so we don’t have the clout that The New York Times has in terms of developing web applications and things like that. It’s important that we further develop our website and its interaction with the community.”
Weiner added that social media is important for improving relationships and increasing communication between the sections, noting that he believes everyone on staff should know each other.
He added he hopes no lawsuits occur during his year as editor in chief, an issue the Daily has occasionally dealt with in the past.
“I think the best legacy an editor-in-chief can leave is no big legal problems, and putting the paper closer to the 21st century,” Weiner said.
LSA junior Melanie Kruvelis will join current editorial page editor, Adrienne Roberts, an LSA junior, as co-EPE for the paper’s opinion section. Kruvelis said she and Roberts hope to enhance the opinion section’s online presence to provide more mediums for people to discuss important issues.
She added that the co-EPEs hope to diversify the content in the opinion section to relate better to the University.
“I really hope that we’re putting out content that’s really challenging students to think about what’s going on around them, both locally and nationally, in ways they haven’t expected,” Kruvelis said.
Roberts agreed with Kruvelis, and added that she wants to continue to attract editorial board members from across campus to ensure that each editorial is well-rounded.
LSA junior Matt Slovin will serve as managing editor after working for a year as a senior sports editor. He said he is excited to develop a broader view of the paper outside of sports.
He added that he plans to improve communication between the managing editor and the sections, as well as enhance the website.
“That’s the direction journalism is heading, so that’s where we need to focus a lot of our time,” Slovin said in reference to the Daily’s website. “Updating it with fresh content around the clock will be very important.”
Similarly, many section editors said they hope to improve the Daily’s online presence in the upcoming year.
Newly elected managing news editor Adam Rubenfire, an LSA junior, said he is excited to have a new digital news editor position on the staff next year, a cause he championed throughout the past semester.
“I’m excited that the news section will be able to put a bigger emphasis on social media, blogging and video,” Rubenfire said.
He said the news staff plans to launch a weekly video program that involves commentary from Daily reporters on the news from that week.
“I think this will be great, as our audience will be able to see the ‘story behind the story,’” he said. “Our reporters are experts on their beats, so it’s important to me that they share their knowledge with our readers.”
Rubenfire added that he also hopes to work more closely with the copydesk to improve communication between news staff and copy editors.
Business junior Zach Helfand and LSA junior Everett Cook, newly elected co-managing sports editors, said they plan to give individual attention and advice to new writers.
“We’re making sure that everyone gets attention and every writer, no matter how big or small the sport, is getting personalized attention to ensure that every story and every sport is going to have quality writing,” Helfand said.
Cook said he hopes to continue to improve the section when he takes over in January.
“I just want to leave the section in a better place than where I found it,” Cook said. “It’s in a very good place right now, but we just have to keep pushing towards where we’re working for.”
Public Policy junior Kayla Upadhyaya, the newly elected managing arts editor, said she also wants to work more with online content, noting she plans to revamp the arts website The Filter. As a senior arts editor this year, Upadhyaya created an editorial staff for the blog.
“Rebranding The Filter and really making it its own dynamic site, I think will really improve the arts section overall, especially as journalism makes its transition into a more online base,” Upadhyaya said.
LSA junior Terra Molengraff, co-managing photo editor, said she too hopes to enhance the photo staff’s presence online by creating more photo blog posts.
“We’re probably going to have weekly blog posts already integrated into the staff positions so that way we don’t have to expect people to do them,” Molengraff said.
Her co-editor, LSA junior Adam Glanzman, said having two managing photo editors will allow Molengraff and himself to spread out their responsibilities and work better with the staff.
Co-managing design editor Kristen Cleghorn, an Art & Design junior who joined the staff in September, said she hopes to use her design experience to improve the layout of the news section.
“We’re planning on having more infographics and to coordinate a little more with news and bring a more visual aspect to that,” Cleghorn said, adding that she’s toying with different layout possibilities for the front page.
Cleghorn will work with co-managing design editor Nick Cruz, an LSA freshman.
LSA junior Haley Goldberg, the newly elected magazine editor, said The Statement will include more reader perspective by dedicating the first few pages of each issue to popular topics across campus.
“We hope to talk about things that are trending on campus, whether that be current events, memes or images, and just using The Statement in those first couple pages to cultivate what people are talking about on campus,” Goldberg said.
She added she hopes to continue to use feature stories to shine light on important national topics that affect campus.
Future co-copy chiefs Josephine Adams, an LSA junior, and Tom McBrien, an LSA sophomore, said they will split shifts up for their staff so style will be edited by one person, and fact-checked by another.
“We feel people will be more thorough in their fact-checking if their role is limited to a specific task,” Adams said.