As the fall semester comes to a close, new editors at The Michigan Daily are preparing to ascend to the helms of their respective sections for the 2018 calendar year. The editor-in-chief and editorial managing page editors were elected in a staff-wide election, and section editors were chosen through elections within their own sections. The managing editor and the editor of The Statement, The Daily’s weekly longform magazine, were chosen by the paper’s management desk.
Managing editors across various sections emphasized inclusion in the newsroom and increasing the impact of their coverage.
LSA junior Alexa St. John, the incoming editor-in-chief, has served in the news section throughout her tenure on The Daily, and as the managing news editor for the past year. She said she was focused on finding various ways to create a sustainable business model to help protect The Daily’s editorial freedom.
“I’m looking forward to creating a more positive, equitable and inclusive newsroom at The Daily by starting internal conversations on how to improve our own climate, content and outreach,” she said. “I also hope to move to have a greater emphasis on our digital content, especially through alternative storytelling and creative multimedia online.”
The incoming managing editor, Music, Theatre & Dance junior Dayton Hare, said he was most interested in increasing The Daily’s involvement in the larger Ann Arbor community.
“I’m also very interested in expanding the ways that we present the news with different projects like video interviews, multimedia things along those lines, he said.
Public Policy juniors Riyah Basha and Sophie Sherry will be taking St. John’s place as co-managing news editors. They said they looked forward to using the news to fill gaps in coverage of historically underserved communities.
“Sophie and I are really excited to take over the helm of the news desk,” Basha said. “We’re really looking forward to building a more equitable news section that provides a platform that’s level for all communities on campus and to restore relationships that haven’t existed before.”
“We want to use this new position and platform to expand on the power of what The Daily can do in terms of the stories we report and the communities that were covering,” Sherry added. “We historically haven’t done such a fantastic job of that, and we’re hoping to take the next year to expand and work to remedy some of our coverage in the past.”
LSA junior Anu Roy-Chaudhury and Engineering sophomore Ashley Zhang, who will be taking over as editorial page editors, said they want to make the opinion desk more cohesive socially, as well as increase the range of topics columnists write about.
“We’re trying to diversify the topics that columnists are writing about and make sure that whenever someone opens a Daily and goes to the opinion page, that they can relate to a column they see there,” Roy-Chaudhury said.
The new managing sports editors, Public Policy junior Orion Sang and LSA junior Mike Persak, said they have “big plans” for the sports section.
“We have big plans for the sports section,” Sang said.
“Big plans,” Persak agreed.
One of their plans, Sang said, was a diversity initiative to subsidize writers’ memberships to organizations like the Association for Women in Sports Media or the National Association for Black Journalists.
“We want to subsidize memberships to these association because they can provide mentorships for those younger writers, people of color, and they also offer great internship opportunities, because we know that one of the main issues facing journalism today, and our newsroom, is a lack of diversity,” Sang said.
LSA sophomores Finntan Storer and Elise Laarman, the incoming copy chiefs, said they also hope to increase section cohesion and “get to know every single one of (their) editors personally.”
“We want to make our section more cohesive and social with each other. You know, people are only here one or two nights a week, and know the other people on their shift.” Storer said. “So we want to get them to meet other people also on the desk but not with them every single week.”
Public Policy junior Ashley Tjhung and LSA junior Jason Rowland will remain in their roles as managing editors of Michigan in Color, focusing this year on creating lighter content and growing the section.
“We’re focusing a lot on multimedia,” Rowland said. “We hired someone really well versed in photography, videography, graphic design. One of our senior editors, Christian, he’s starting a blog –– I’m not really sure what his final vision [is], but it fits in line with MiC’s goals to do lighter content.”
“We’re basically looking to expand the section, expand the kinds of content we produce. MiC is going to turn 4 in January, and we are really honored to continue the tradition and excited for what the future will hold,” Tjhung said. “In our opinion, the section grew exponentially last year, and we hope to continue that trend.”
LSA juniors Danielle Yacobson and Madeleine Gaudin will be the new managing arts editors this year. Gaudin said they seek to expand the range and types of content they produced.
“We’re planning to do a lot of more creative pieces, so we’re looking toward expanding our longform journalism, getting more interviews, doing roundtables with our arts writers,” she said. “We’re also hoping to incorporate a video component into the B-Side, which is our biweekly Arts insert.”
The photo section will be managed next year by LSA junior Katelyn Mulcahy and LSA sophomore Alexis Rankin, who said technical and logistical issues were first on their to-do list.
“We’ve had a lot of problems with equipment, so we’re probably going to tackle that first,” Mulcahy said. “But also we’re teaming up with arts to cover more concerts and more local events, so that coordination is a little better and stronger. We’re going to be pushing creative content and increasing our social platform, as far as Instagram and eventually Twitter.”
Business junior Brian Kuang, the new managing editor of The Statement, emphasized the growth in web traffic The Statement had already experienced this year, saying he hopes to continue that trend.
“I hope to match that growth again for the coming year by continuing to publish the thought-provoking, in-depth writing that makes Statement what it is, and finding new ways to leverage digital multimedia and the Statement brand. Already, I’ve added a third deputy editor position to my section to focus just on that,” he said. “Nonetheless, we can only be successful if we continue to publish compelling content that people want to read, and because of the wonderful people I’ve worked with this past year on Statement, I’ll have some big shoes to fill come January.”
Engineering junior Bob Lesser will be a managing online editor for his second year in 2018, while LSA junior Jordan Wolff will take on the role for the first time. Lesser said web team plans to revamp The Daily’s grade guide and have The Daily’s mobile app ready for release by the beginning of the winter semester.
“Currently the web team is sort of in a transition phase as we grow into a larger team, take on more projects, work on more holistic assignments that are really essential to our section and the stuff that we do,” he said. “We’re really hoping to get the mobile app out soon; we’re hoping to have that ready by the start of next semester, so that’ll be a great step forward for the team and for The Daily as a whole.”
Incoming managing social media editors, LSA senior Anna Haritos and LSA sophomore Kayla Waterman, said one of their first goals would be getting The Daily’s Twitter account verified.
“We also are looking to continue playing around with analytics and finding out the best ways to make sure that the content that all sections are producing is the best and more ways that social media can be played in that,” Haritos said.
LSA sophomore Ian Harris, the new managing video editor, looks to guide the section to produce more of its own content in addition to helping create content for other sections.
“The section is still really young, really fresh and really new –– I think there’s a lot of room for it to grow and really improve upon what we’ve already done,” he said. “We hope to get a lot more film majors involved. We hope to start really branching out from just covering news events to really having our own original content, and maybe having series on different things, and see what we can do with video that we can’t do with other things at The Daily.”
The new managing design editors, Art & Design junior Roseanne Chao and LSA sophomore Casey Tin, also want to improve the sense of community within the section.
“My plans for design are to continue what Michelle and Ava began implementing this semester — getting designers get more involved with the paper by bringing them into the workroom during their designated shifts,”Tin said. “I’m quite nervous for the role and I feel that I have pretty big shoes to fill, but I’m confident that Roseanne and I can work together to make the design team run more efficiently and continue doing great things for the paper.”