Daily staffers elect 2016 leadership, section editors

Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 11:30pm

With 2016 around the corner, The Michigan Daily staff has selected its new editor in chief, managing editors and section leaders for the 2016 calendar year. The editor in chief and editorial page editors were chosen during a staff-wide election, while other positions were elected within each section.

LSA junior Shoham Geva, a senior news editor in 2015, will serve as editor in chief. Generally, her goal for the upcoming year is to move the Daily in a more digitally focused direction.

“Specifically, I’d like to focus a lot on our online presence,” she said. “Two of the initiatives I’m planning on pursuing right away are really defining what our social media presence looks like — so sitting down and creating a strategic plan about how we brand ourselves and how we promote ourselves. I’m also hoping to create a new position entirely focused on multimedia in recognition of the fact that it seems like a lot of newspapers have seemed to fold that more and more into their coverage.”

LSA junior Laura Schinagle will serve as managing editor, and echoed Geva’s thoughts about creating an online presence that caters to readers. She added that she wants to make every staff member feel welcome in the newsroom.

“One of our main initiatives is ramping up social media, something we’ve already started doing through Shoham’s strategic plan,” she said. “Also implementing more online packaging and working with web team to create more interactive things online.”

LSA junior Emma Kerr, the incoming managing news editor, said she hopes to foster more long-form investigative work with her reporters while continuing to engage the community and produce quality work with thorough editing.

“I believe the quality and ethical standards we hold ourselves to in the news section are impressive, and as managing news editor, I plan to continue that tradition,” Kerr said. “Our goal in the news section, in my opinion, is to inform the public, creating a more engaged student community on campus.  

“This year, I’ll be focusing on moving toward an online-first model so we can best reach our audience while maintaining a consistent print paper — the only daily print paper in Ann Arbor,” she added. “I’ll also be working to better train the next generation of Daily reporters and journalists, encourage strengthened relationships with sources, and facilitate a challenging and inclusive community of student journalists.”

Incorporating a broad array of voices will be a priority for LSA sophomore Regan Detwiler and LSA junior Claire Bryan, incoming editorial page editors. They both said more active recruitment for the section will play an essential role in reaching this goal.

“Claire and I really want to be leaders in innovation and in increasing diversity on the Daily, especially within the Opinion section. We want as many voices to be heard as possible,” Detwiler said. “We also see ourselves as part of student newspaper that needs to be on the cutting edge of journalism, doing new things with web and increasing the variety of content we have to appeal to more readers.”

LSA junior Jake Lourim and Public Policy junior Max Bultman hope to create a welcoming environment for their writers as co-managing sports editors. This is Lourim’s second year in this position and Bultman’s first. Bultman said he feels he owes it to the section to step up to this role.

“I think it’s important to continue to grow our staff and keep good opportunities for people so that we have a foundation for the future,” Lourim said. “I think it’s also important to create a good atmosphere within the section so that everyone feels welcome and everyone feels like they’re contributing. Doing this again, I loved doing it the first time, had a great co-editor, (Business senior) Max Cohen, and I really liked the responsibility, liked being involved at the Daily, liked covering football — which I got to do this year. I’m excited to give it another go.”

For LSA juniors Emily Campbell and Alexis Nowicki, their collective passion for the Daily combined with their love of grammar will help them lead their section as co-copy chiefs, and create an open, collaborative section, they said.

“I ran because I love the Daily and I love the Copy Desk — I’ve been a part of it since my freshman year,” Campbell said. “It’s a really great community and I think that ties into my goals because what I’d really love is for the Copy Desk to be a community in and of itself and part of The Michigan Daily community. A goal would be to try and foster that community for everyone.”

Incoming managing photo editors, LSA junior Amanda Allen and LSA sophomore Grant Hardy, hope to produce strong visual narratives for the stories the Daily runs.

“My goals for next year are to continue to put out quality content,” Allen said. “I think that Photo is a great opportunity for photographers to get a lot of experience and learn from other people so I want to keep that tradition going.”

LSA juniors Adam Theisen and Kathleen Davis hope that their love for the Daily will be reflected in their new roles as co-managing arts editors — which Davis said is representative of the duo’s overall commitment to journalism.

“Adam and I have a very similar trajectory because we both started very soon during our freshman year,” Davis said. “We both became senior arts editors last year and we both love the Daily. This is what I want to do in my life, and Adam I think is the same.”

LSA sophomore Anjali Alangaden was selected for the position of managing design editor, and will be joined by Art & Design senior Mariah Gardziola for Winter 2016 and Art & Design junior Francesca Kielb for Fall 2016.

“In the coming year, there are a lot of things that the design section would like to focus on,” Alangaden said. “Of course, we want to continue producing innovative and interesting layouts and for the feature sections like B-side and SportsMonday, but we are also working to update the overall design of the paper, especially the front page. The layout and design of the paper plays a huge role in attracting interest and we want to make sure we are staying up to date.”

The current semester’s editors for Michigan in Color — Engineering graduate student Ryan Moody and LSA seniors Sarah Khan, Demario Longmire and Gabby Vasquez — will continue to hold their positions until their section selects new leadership in February.

LSA junior Nivedita Karki will serve as next year’s online editor, and said she hopes to create a teaching community within the web team through new innovative ideas.

“We’re working on two apps right now,“ Karki said. “We’re working on a concept app for The Michigan Daily and the other app we’re working on is a ‘marketplace.’ It’s definitely been a learning process for everybody. More than anything, I think the team needs to be a productive learning experience.”

The video section will be led by LSA sophomore Levin Kim.

I hope to collaborate with all the incredible staff we have at the Daily to produce interesting stories that have an impact on our community,” Kim said.

LSA junior Karl Williams will helm the Statement Magazine.

“I want the Statement to be an intellectual forum that will foster critical inquiry in the Ann Arbor and University community,” Williams said. “I hope to give a voice to underrepresented racial, social and economic groups in both print and, hopefully, in video. Specifically, I want to work with the homeless community, which I think lacks a voice, and I would love to make a short documentary on the issues they not only face, but live with every day.”