Position(s): 2022 Managing Audience Engagement Editor, 2021 Senior blockm Editor, 2021 Academics Beat Reporter, 2020 Assistant Day-to-Day Editor
Section(s): Audience Engagement, News
Semesters at The Daily: 5
Every morning for the past two years, I’ve looked in the mirror and asked myself one simple question: “What will YOU do to engage the audience today?”
For a while, “the audience” consisted only of my friend Anna, the sole like on many early blockm tweets. Eventually, it grew to include heartbroken football fans, President Ono stans, Ann Arbor food critics and State News cynics. On some days, it even comprised notable Michigan figures like a salty Derrick Walton Jr., a snarky Dana Nessel and a sporty Victor the Frisbee Dog.
But today, I woke up conflicted. Never has the audience been me. Not me right now, but the washed-up Audience Engagement ME remembering the thrill of a Rich-Eisen quote tweet or the nine-to-fiver looking back on the glory days of college.
Now, how can I engage that version of myself? Not by tallying the number of likes, retweets and hate comments I racked up at The Daily, but by recognizing the people who made these past two years at 420 Maynard so special:
Asha and Haley, thank you for gifting me the opportunity to have free reign over a listserv of 50,000 subscribers. Truly a high-risk, high-reward decision that I hope paid off.
Jacob, thank you for carrying theblockm torch last semester and for helping found Daily Thursdays. I think I’m finally ready to forgive you for the infamous “XX-XX” tweet.
To Steven, Jillian, Mae, Cristina and our talented team of Assistant Editors, thank you for making each and every night of production a memorable one. I know this job is often a thankless one, but I truly appreciate all the hard work you put in these past two semesters.
Justin, your subject lines were always top-tier. Thanks for making my job easy and for teaching me the valuable lesson of never leaving my personal belongings unattended.
Cole, you were one hell of an intern, engaging the audience on two fronts. Joey, I’ve never met a more objective Michigan diehard — truly an impressive feat.
DC, you were one of my first friends in the newsroom and someone I could always rely on for a quick laugh. Also, can you fill out push for social when you get the chance? Kristina, thank you for first welcoming me onto Audience way back when and for bearing the arduous responsibility of keeping Dominic in check. Youse two rock.
Bat and Mouse, you’re an unstoppable duo — and quite the pair of graphic designers. I’m honored to have played a small role in Michigan Daily history live streaming to DC in DC and Nick’s mom. See you both at the next Piscataway Sopranos Bowl. Go, Scarlet Knights!
Tess and Grace, beatboxes have become a game-day staple of mine, and I can’t thank you enough for that. My mom and the admin of evandelo.com (whoever that may be) are forever grateful for the candid photos you’ve taken of me.
Eric and Dora, you were the best deskmates a section could ask for. So glad we managed to squash the beef and enjoy a bowl of Halloween “candy.”
Ethan, if Cug ever ends up on your fyp, send him my way. Shannon, Shubs and George, if you ever want to make a Regents run, shoot me a text. Irena, if you ever have an extra Amir’s pickle, give me a call. Julian, if you ever need a fourth squadmate in Fortnite, you know where to find me.
Paige, thank you for being such a selfless, thoughtful leader this past year. You helped make the newsroom a second home for so many. There’s no one else I’d rather split a Thursday Truly with than you.
Caroline, thanks for always letting me steal a seat and a handful of candy at the Copy desk — even when I refused to think of another joke. I’ll miss editing the Daily Daily/Double Daily/Daily Double/DD/D2 by your side. I’m so lucky The Daily reintroduced me to you. 🙂
Christian, I’m so glad you were able to join the section this year — and so are our newsletter subscribers. Audience is in good hands. Just make sure you include my Google Form responses in A2 Outlook.
Martina, thank you for always coming into the newsroom with a smile. You helped make the section’s transition back to in-person production seamless. You’re going to absolutely kill it next year, even if you opt for Photoshop over XD.
Zippy, I could not have asked for a better partner in crime to tackle the insanity of this job. I can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done to transform Audience into what it is today. Without you there by my side, I probably would’ve quit and joined The Michigan Daily Nightly — seriously. No one is more qualified to lead this newspaper further into the digital space. I’m always one text away if you ever need me.
Well, Evan of the future, if the truth is what will keep you engaged, especially this far down the page, then thinking about all the free time I’ll have next semester honestly scares me. What am I supposed to do from 6:15 p.m. to midnight each Tuesday, Thursday and every other Sunday? Maybe I can serve $2 NYPD slices to the next generation of Daily staffers or drive Blue Buses with Dominic.
Surely, I’ll spend some of that free time reminiscing on the memories made at 420 Maynard, and the rest of it I’ll spend enjoying Daily content as a member of the audience I once engaged.