The Michigan Daily has elected a new Editor in Chief and group of Managing Editors to lead the paper in its 130th year. Staff-wide elections chose the Editor in Chief, while each section held individual elections to determine their managing editors.
The Daily’s management desk chose the new managing editor, The Daily’s first ever digital managing editor and a new editor of Statement, the paper’s weekly magazine. The management desk also approved Access and Inclusion as a new section in the newsroom.
LSA junior Claire Hao is the incoming Editor in Chief for the 2021 calendar year. Hao previously worked as a 2020 senior news editor overseeing campus life coverage and as an Access and Inclusion committee member.
Hao’s platform included expanding the paper’s digital presence, bolstering diversity and inclusion initiatives and strengthening relationships with the campus and local community. She envisions The Daily not just as a newspaper but as an interactive source of information and perspectives on a multitude of platforms.
“I hope by the end of my tenure, we come to think of ourselves as a news organization that delivers information and perspectives about Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County and the University of Michigan through a variety of mediums,” Hao said. “(I hope) that we’ve become a central news source for students, but also faculty and staff and even the Ann Arbor community.”
LSA senior Brittany Bowman will work with Hao as managing editor after previously working as a columnist, senior opinion editor and editorial page editor. Bowman said she hopes to strengthen cross-section collaboration and widen the role of the copy section.
“Working to integrate different sections, I would love to see more cross-section collaboration happen because that is when the best work is produced,” Bowman said.
LSA junior John Grieve, who previously served as managing audience engagement editor, will be The Daily’s first digital managing editor. He will oversee all six digital sections: photo, video, web, design, audience engagement and podcast.
“I'm excited to continue The Daily’s transformation to a more digitally-focused paper, adapting the trends of the industry and making sure we're meeting our readers where they are,” Grieve said.
Information junior Tara Moore, former senior account executive, will lead The Daily’s business operations as business manager.
Moore said she wants to work with the edit team to develop a long-lasting strategy to keep The Daily afloat through the economic uncertainties of the pandemic and beyond.
“My biggest thing … is how can we make sure The Daily is around for years to come?” Moore said.
LSA juniors Barbara Collins and Liat Weinstein will lead the news section as co-managing news editors. Both worked as 2020 senior news editors — Collins advised city coverage, while Weinstein oversaw business and research.
Collins said building a digital-first focus in the news section will be a priority during her and Weinstein’s tenure as co-MNEs.
“Liat and I are both looking forward to leading the news section in 2021,” Collins said. “Since we are conducting a completely remote production every night for the foreseeable future, we want to continue having a digital-first focus as a newspaper this upcoming year.”
Weinstein said they want to address ethical reporting as co-MNES and are looking forward to discussions about objective reporting.
“Something Barbara and I focused on in our platform was the paradox of ‘both sides’ journalism, especially in a political climate where misinformation is so prominent,” Weinstein said. “So this year we want to stress the idea that strong, ethical reporting should be fair and objective without needlessly giving voice to bigotry or untruth. I’m really looking forward to working with Barbara and all of our amazing SNEds and reporters to tackle everything that will happen this year.”
LSA juniors Joel Weiner and Elizabeth Cook will serve as co-editorial page editors, leading the opinion section in the coming year.
Weiner, who has previously served as an editorial board member, columnist and senior editor, hopes to include many different perspectives in the opinion pieces this year.
“I really want to give voice to people who can speak to different experiences,” Weiner said. “One of the things we agreed is really important about opinion journalism is it allows people to contextualize large scale events to individual, (personal) experiences.”
Cook, who has previously worked as a columnist and senior editor during the summer, is excited about recruiting new cartoonists and columnists to further diversify the opinion section.
“I am looking forward to working with (everyone) — I think we have an amazing team for next year and I’m excited to see what everyone does,” Cook said. “I’m also really excited about the recruitment process and getting all the cartoonists and columnists on board because I’m looking forward to having a variety of voices for our section.”
Arts will have three co-managing editors for the upcoming year: LSA senior Zoe Phillips, LSA junior Elise Godfryd and LSA sophomore Elizabeth Yoon.
Godfryd, a previous senior film arts editor, said she hopes arts will continue to garner attention from readers as it has this semester.
“Arts has experienced a big surge in attention this semester,” Godfryd said. “A few weeks ago, four of the five top most read articles on the sites were arts, which is pretty unheard of, so we’d like to see more of that happen.”
LSA junior Anamika Kannan and LSA sophomore Gabrijela Skoko will serve as the co-managing editors for Michigan in Color.
Kannan, a previous MiC assistant creative content editor, said she hopes to expand MiC and publish stories that showcase the talents of their staff.
“We would love to keep continuing on this journey of growth and implement things like speaker series and workshops with one another because that’s what MiC is all about,” Kannan said. “Our section is filled with so much talent that we really want to bring out.”
LSA junior Andie Horowitz will lead Statement. She previously worked within The Daily’s magazine style section as a former summer managing statement editor, deputy statement editor and statement columnist.
Horowitz said she envisions the section transforming into its own unique entity.
“Some goals I have are to just increase our online presence and really establish what Statement is in a more unique way,” Horowitz said. “Right now, people know Statement as The Michigan Daily’s New Yorker style section. While it’s true that it emulates New Yorker-style pieces, I want it to be its own distinctive body in what we produce and how people remember us.”
LSA juniors Asha Lewis and Haley Johnson will lead the Audience Engagement section as co-managing editors.
Lewis, a previous senior photo multimedia editor and senior audience engagement Instagram editor, said the popularity of social media among students has the potential to make The Daily’s social media pages a major news source for the community.
“For Twitter and Instagram, most of our followers are current students or very recent alumni,” Lewis said. “Those demographics usually get a lot of their news from social media (and) I feel like we have huge potential to make The Daily the primary news source on campus.”
LSA sophomore Iulia Dobrin, a previous senior video editor and assistant news editor, and LSA junior Annika Wang, a previous videographer and assistant video editor, will lead the video section as co-managing video editors.
Wang said they are looking forward to developing the section and pursuing exciting projects.
“We want video to be an entity that stands on its own,” Wang said. “We want to do more creative projects, more audience engagements, more videos (in addition to news).”
LSA juniors Allison Engkvist will continue as a co-managing editor for the photo section. Joining Engkvist is LSA junior Maddie Hinkley, a previous senior statement photo editor.
Hinkley said she is looking forward to getting back to normal when the pandemic ends and photographing games, concerts and campus events.
“I’m very excited to actually see some real people in the world and take photos of them,” Hinkley said.
Engkvist said she would like to continue working on the improvements she and outgoing managing photo editor Annie Klusendorf made to the section in 2020.
“(I’m looking forward to) creating a better environment between photographers and really just building that community to a larger extent (in the upcoming year),” Engkvist said.
LSA junior Hibah Mirza and LSA sophomore Aya Salim are the incoming co-managing design editors. Mirza has previously worked as senior design editor and summer managing design editor, while Salim has done infographic and social media design at The Daily.
“Hopefully we can bring design into more of a spotlight,” Mirza said. “Our work is seen across the paper and online, but it would be nice for design to do some feature projects.”
LSA junior Madison Gagne is continuing in her role as Copy Chief, now joined by LSA sophomore Olivia Bradish. Gagne and Bradish said they are hoping to work with Access & Inclusion to create a style guide for editing sensitive issues and stories.
“Another big part of our platform was also working with (A&I) to create a sensitivity style guide, because that's something we often run into when we're editing… making sure we talk about minority groups or groups that have been hurt in the past the correct way,” Bradish said.
Public Policy junior Gerald Sill and LSA junior Emily Ohl will serve as managing podcast editors. Both were senior editors and content editors for the podcast section in 2020.
Sill said he is looking forward to continuing working with the podcast team, which he described as “awesome.”
“Everyone likes to say their section is like a family, but I really feel like our podcast teams are like a family and it’s really cool to be able to work with them,” Sill said.
Ohl said she wants to continue the positive momentum podcast has built this year.
“We hope to have more engagement with The Daily at large and with The Daily’s audience,” Ohl said.
Engineering juniors Parth Dhyani and Naitian Zhou have been tapped to lead the web section. Both Dhyani and Zhou previously worked as data team members for web and Dhyani is continuing the managing online editor position he held in 2020.
Dhyani said he is most looking forward to The Daily’s website redesign, scheduled for sometime in January, and wants to use the transition to change the paper’s tech infrastructure.
“We really want to build up our cloud technology so that we can have basically a more modern backend for our paper and be able to support most 21st century technology type things,” Dhyani said.
Zhou said the web section will be able to pursue more creative projects in 2021 without the stress of an election year. According to Zhou, the section could potentially release a new mobile app in September. Overall, Zhou said 2021 will be “a great time for exploration.”
LSA juniors Alex Harring and Sarah Szalai will lead Access & Inclusion, which became a section this past semester after the 2020 managing editor class voted to approve it. Harring, the incoming A&I coverage chair, previously served as a senior news editor and summer managing news editor. Szalai, the incoming A&I organizational chair, worked on A&I human resources before beginning her new position.
Harring said he wants to examine what voices and communities The Daily is overlooking in its coverage.
“We want to really recommit to doing the best we can to most fairly and accurately serve the communities we’re here to serve,” Harring said.
Szalai said she wants to create spaces for staffers of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as broaden outreach to students from traditionally underrepresented socioeconomic backgrounds.
“(We’re) digging in and seeing the gap between hiring … lower socioeconomic status students and how we can make it more accessible to work for The Daily,” Szalai said.
Public Policy junior Lane Kizziah and LSA junior Kent Schwartz will serve as managing sports editors. Both have worked for the sports section as assistant and senior sports editors.
Kizziah said she has always appreciated the sports section’s sense of culture and community.
“We want to make sure that we’re able to do things to try and preserve that, even though we’re just doing production on Zoom,” Kizziah said.
The Daily’s sports section plays touch football yearly against Michigan State University’s student newspaper, The State News. This year, The Daily was unable to extend its 15-game winning streak this fall when the game was canceled due to COVID-19. However, Schwartz said he’s looking to recruit some engineering students to the section to hopefully help out in a rescheduled game in the spring.
“If we get some engineers to make some high-quality potato cannons and we just freak out the State News writers before the game, I think that would put us in a great psychological advantage over them,” Schwartz said.
Kizziah added: “To be fair, I think we already freak out the State News writers.”
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