The Michigan Daily has a newly elected editor in chief and class of managing editors for the 2020 calendar year. The new editors will lead their respective sections and the newspaper in its 129th year of print.
Staff-wide elections determined the incoming editor in chief and editorial page editors, while the paper’s management desk selected the new managing editor and the new editor of The Daily’s weekly magazine, The Statement. Each section’s staff elected their respective editors.
Incoming Editor in Chief Elizabeth Lawrence, an LSA junior, worked as a managing news editor during the 2019 calendar year. Lawrence said she plans to focus on increasing The Daily’s community engagement and digital presence.
“I would definitely like to see greater engagement with the community, either through community events or more reaching out on social media, and to individual communities on campus, especially those who were felt misrepresented by us in the past,” Lawrence said. “I’m also going to be working on our digital strategy and making sure our digital presence is strong and is where it needs to be.”
LSA junior Erin White will join Lawrence at the helm as the managing editor. White would also like to improve The Daily’s digital presence, while ensuring print content remains strong.
“We’re in this era of time when we love the print and we’re keeping print, obviously, but digital is also a priority,” White said. “I want to make sure that everything we’re doing is thoughtful, good journalism, and with the staff we have, I don’t doubt that that’s going to be possible.”
White was previously a senior opinion editor and summer editorial page editor.
LSA junior Sayali Amin and Public Policy junior Leah Graham will serve as co-managing news editors. Amin and Graham were both senior news editors in 2019 and said they want to keep the momentum of the section going. Amin said the pair wants to ensure that all staff members feel included in the section.
“I want all reporters to feel like they belong here, and that they all have something really valuable to bring to the table,” Amin said. “It’s a really big year, and I want the staff to know that everyone has a stake in the success of this paper.”
Additionally, Graham noted the importance of The Daily’s election coverage as a student newspaper in a state that will play a key role in the 2020 presidential race.
“One of our biggest challenges is that next year is going to be an election year, and Michigan’s going to be really central to that,” Graham said. “We’re uniquely positioned as a student newspaper in Michigan to cover how people are feeling and reacting, and the way that they’ll eventually vote. The election is something we’re really going to go all in on.”
The Statement, which focuses on longform pieces, is published weekly. Public Policy junior Magdalena Mihaylova, who served as a 2019 editorial page editor, will lead the magazine as the managing Statement editor.
“I’m super excited to be leading The Statement section and to use my Opinion experience and perspective in it,” Mihaylova said. “Hopefully, what we publish will make a difference not only for the people who are publishing it, but for campus as a whole, and people learn new stories, new perspectives or new news.”
Incoming co-managing photo editors LSA junior Annie Klusendorf and LSA sophomore Allison Engkvist said they plan to foster a stronger sense of community in the section.
“We want all the photographers to be really comfortable here and want to work on The Daily as much as their own photography,” Klusendorf said. “Sometimes, being on photo staff can be pretty isolating, because you’re always out shooting events, and you’re not in the newsroom as much as other sections of The Daily, but we’re trying to work on that and have everybody know each other. I know that there’s not a big photo community in Ann Arbor, but we’re trying to make one at The Daily.”
Engkvist said they are looking at different avenues for improving the pictures the staff produces, such as workshops and critiques.
“One of our major goals for the year is to help develop our photographers,” Engkvist said. “We’re going to do that by trying to give a lot of feedback on their work, doing portfolio critiques and possibly getting some local photographers or maybe people involved in the University to come in and give advice.”
Co-managing sports editors Theo Mackie and Ethan Sears, both LSA juniors, said they hope to continue previous editors’ work of making little changes to make the section run as smoothly as possible. Mackie, previously a senior sports editor, joins Sears, who was co-managing sports editor this past year, in the position.
“In terms of what we want to see out of the section, I think a huge part of it is just keeping what we have going, going,” Mackie said. “We want to keep the culture of sports that we have that Ethan and (LSA senior) Max (Marcovitch) have built, that MEs before them have built.”
Sears said they are looking at different ways to better the content the section produces.
“In this interview a year ago, we talked about how we wanted to make small, minute changes as opposed to the big plans some people had before us,” Sears said. “I think we’re probably on the same page this year.”
Incoming co-managing arts editors John Decker and Julianna Morano, also both LSA juniors, said they want to focus on improving the editing system in the section. Decker also shared their goals for diversifying their staff.
“We want to normalize editing procedures on the section and do workshops with editors so that even though everyone has their own style, everyone is aware of what that should look like,” Decker said. “We also want to increase strategic outreach to identity-based organizations on campus for recruiting and hiring.”
Morano said she also would like to see more cross-section projects.
“We’re looking to collaborate with other sections creatively and also for the sake of tightening up some of our own procedures,” Morano said.
New Copy Chiefs LSA sophomore Madison Gagne and Business junior Sadia Jiban discussed the importance of having a strong copy desk.
“Copy is the backbone of The Michigan Daily,” Jiban said. “For that reason, we want to maintain and improve the high quality of editing, so that way we continue to be a credible news source.”
Additionally, Gagne said they want to foster an inclusive culture in the section.
“We want to create a welcoming culture and promote inclusivity,” Gagne said. “Copy shapes conversations because we take other peoples’ words and thoughts and we polish them in this pretty package that is presented to the world in a way that is able to be read by everyone.”
Art & Design junior Emily Considine and LSA sophomore Miles Stephenson will be the editorial page editors. Considine said she hopes to build a feeling of camaraderie in the section, as many of the staff members do their work outside of the newsroom.
“I want to see our section become more of a team,” Considine said. “Especially because we’re not a section that has people come into the newsroom a lot, I think it’s really good for us to put in a lot of effort to make sure that everyone’s sort of getting to know each other and feels like they’re a part of it.”
Stephenson said he would like to see more diverse voices on the editorial page.
“I’d like to increase our intellectual diversity,” Stephenson said. “I think that, especially for the opinion section — a section that’s work is so predicated on the opinions within it and our subjective beliefs — I think that the more intellectual diversity we have, the more we resist becoming an echo chamber, the better the product we can put out for the editorial page, and the more range of voices we can facilitate on our page.”
LSA sophomores Sherry Chen and Christine Jegarl will serve as co-managing design editors. Chen said she is excited for design to work with other sections.
“For the design section, I want to include more layout design for the paper,” Chen said. “I would also want to collaborate with other sections to have maybe a Design and an Art-based edition.”
LSA juniors Samantha Small and Sonya Vogel, the incoming co-managing podcast editors, said they plan to increase the visibility of their section’s work.
“We want students to pay attention to us and listen to us, because we have really interesting content that I think you can’t really get anywhere else besides an audio format,” Small said.
Vogel also said they want to bring the staff members of each podcast together to share ideas.
“Another one of our goals that we’ve spoken about is making the podcast section more cohesive,” Vogel said. “We have four really wonderful podcasts who all pretty much work separately right now, so I think making a cohesive podcast section where we can all work together and benefit from each other’s knowledge will make each of our podcasts even better.”
Also on the multimedia side, co-managing video editors Alec Cohen and Eli Sider, both LSA juniors, said they want to continue building their staff. Cohen, who joins Sider as managing video editor from the photo team, said he would like to see the video staff do more work with other sections next year.
“We want to see the section expand,” Cohen said. “It’s been exponentially growing in the past semester, but I think trying to take it to the next level and to collaborate with other sections of the paper more, in addition to news, is something that we hope to see in the future.”
Sider said he wants to cement video’s place on The Daily.
“We’ve taken this section to great strides this past semester and are really happy about that,” Sider said. “What we really want to see is the continuation of that and be able to get to a stable place where we can see The Michigan Daily video section putting out consistent content for years to come.”
Incoming co-managing editors of Michigan in Color, LSA junior Ana María Sánchez-Castillo and Public Health junior Maya Mokh, said they have plans to take the section to levels never seen before.
“In the past, there has been a lot of big, lofty goals from previous MiC MEs, but this time, we’re actually putting them through,” Sánchez-Castillo said. “One of our big goals this semester is increasing the diversity of demographics that feel represented amongst our platform and, also, this will help us just raise the quality of content in our section.”
Mokh said they also would like to add more training opportunities.
“This year, we also want to bring training sessions to not only our editors, (but) to our contributors as well, to make sure that everybody is performing to the utmost potential,” Mokh said.
Co-managing social media editors Jack Grieve and Ben Korn, both LSA sophomores, said they want to see more collaboration with other sections.
“We want to put a Social focus on every story from the start,” Grieve said.
Korn echoed Grieve’s point.
“I’d just like to see our social media page be more interactive and a little more visual,” Korn said. “I’d also just like to see us react to stuff more in real time.”
Engineering sophomores Simran Pujji and Tim Cho are co-managing online editors. Pujji said they are planning to improve Web’s products.
“We’re really excited to push some new changes to great guide and to our mobile app,” Pujji said. “For the Grade Guide, we really want to make it a platform that students will use and go to, and we’re trying to add some new features right now. And for the mobile app as well, we’re really pushing to make sure that students use the mobile app to get their content.”
Outgoing Editor in Chief Maya Goldman, LSA senior, said she is confident the incoming class of editors will uphold The Daily’s tradition of editorial freedom.
“I’m really, really excited for the next class of editors at The Daily,” Goldman said. “I’ve really seen most of these people grow as journalists and as leaders in the past year, and I just know that there’s a lot of passion and talent and dedication in this class. I’m really confident that they’ll carry on The Daily’s legacy.”