The Michigan Daily has elected a new class of editors who will officially begin a yearlong term this January.
Each year, the Daily holds staff-wide elections to appoint its editor in chief and editorial page editor, while the other sections hold smaller elections to determine their editors. The elected editor-in-chief appoints other key positions that are confirmed by the Daily’s senior editors, including managing editor — the paper’s second in command.
Elections for editor in chief and editorial page editor take place in one roughly 12-hour block of time. During elections, the entire Daily staff asks the candidates questions relevant to how they would approach the position. Each staff member’s vote is counted equally.
After standing through about eight hours of questions, Business junior Jacob Smilovitz — the Daily’s current managing news editor — was elected as the paper’s next editor in chief.
Smilovitz said he hopes to continue some of the technological advances that current editor-in-chief Gary Graca put in place.
“Over the next year, we’re going to keep pushing to improve our coverage and our content and at the same time, really push our online reach to get that content in front of as many eyes as possible,” Smilovitz said.
Smilovitz appointed Business junior Matt Aaronson, a current Daily senior news editor, as the Daily’s new managing editor. The Daily’s senior editors confirmed this appointment.
LSA junior Rachel Van Gilder was elected editorial page editor. Van Gilder currently serves as an associate editorial page editor. During her tenure as editorial page editor, Van Gilder said she hopes to improve the training of opinion writers.
LSA junior Jillian Berman, a current Daily senior news editor, was elected managing news editor. Berman said she plans to work with news staffers to make their writing more “punchy and fun.”
Berman said she thinks her role leading the news section will hold some significance in itself, as there has been a recent lack of female managing news editors, despite large numbers of female reporters.
“Making women who walk through the door here understand that they can have any position that they want is what I want my legacy to be,” Berman said.
LSA junior Ryan Kartje, a current Daily assistant sports editor, was elected as the Daily’s new managing sports editor. He said he’s looking forward to implementing better sports writer training and incorporating more mediums for sports coverage.
“I hope for more innovative things to happen,” Kartje said. “We’re going to try to focus some more on online video content (and) a lot of multimedia. We’re taking baby steps, but I’d like to sort of institutionalize multimedia.”
LSA junior Jamie Block — a current senior arts editor who served as the Daily’s editor-in-chief this past summer — was elected managing arts editor. Block said he plans to improve the section’s blog and increase local arts coverage.
“I think the main goal is that there’s a lot of arts happening on this campus that we don’t cover adequately,” he said. “The major goal for next year is to (remove) some of the reviews that are less relevant and instead cover what’s happening.”
LSA junior Sam Wolson and Art & Design junior Max Collins, current assistant photo editors, were elected co-managing photo editors. The pair is planning to take over the Daily’s multimedia and introduce the photo staff to video journalism.
“We may fall on our face,” Wolson said. “But we’re hoping to get somewhere better.”
Wolson said they also hope to “inspire” the photo staff by reminding it of its responsibility to document life at the University.
LSA sophomore Anna Zielinski and Engineering sophomore Sarah Squire were elected co-managing design editors.
The magazine editor and copy chief will be appointed by the Daily’s senior editors in the coming weeks.
— None of the Daily staffers named in this report edited the article.