After nearly a month of publication-wide elections, The Michigan Daily staff has chosen its editor in chief, managing editor and section leaders for the 2015 calendar year.
While each section of the newspaper elects its respective managing editors internally, the editor-in-chief and co-editorial page editors were chosen in a staff-wide vote Nov. 14.
LSA junior Jennifer Calfas, who served as managing news editor this year, will serve as the 2015 editor in chief. Calfas said one of her main goals is to lead the paper in a collaborative, transparent manner. Her barometer for success will be maintaining staff enthusiasm and the quality of the paper’s content.
“I think as long as we continue to be one of the prominent news sources and most accurate news sources for the Ann Arbor community and even for the nation … I think as long as we seek the truth and report on the truth, that’s what’s going to measure our success,” Calfas said. “We’ve already been doing a great job of doing that and we’ll continue to keep that tradition alive in the next year.”
The increased focus on the Daily’s online presence is also a priority of LSA junior Lev Facher, who will serve as the publication’s managing editor. Collaboration between the different sections, such as news, arts and sports, are other highlights.
“Our voice is critical to both the University and the region — as Washtenaw County’s only daily print publication, we bear a huge responsibility,” Facher said. “I’m sure the 2015 class of editors is up for the challenge of providing fair and thorough coverage of all things Michigan and all things Ann Arbor.”
Calfas said she is also excited about the addition of a new position under her supervision — that of special projects manager, a job which LSA sophomore Carolyn Gearig will fill. The position will require Gearig to spearhead and facilitate initiatives beyond day-to-day coverage.
“We tend to focus too much on our short term coverage and on things that we do to make a paper every day, which is great, but we’ve never had someone whose exclusive job is to think long-term,” Gearig said. “I think this newspaper really needs that.”
Calfas stressed that one of the most immediate innovations will be rolling out the Daily’s new website over the course of the Winter 2015 semester. Engineering junior Amrutha Sivakumar, the newly appointed online editor, will help facilitate this transition.
“At The Michigan Daily, we believe that the future of journalism is digital journalism,” Sivakumar said. “If all goes according to plan, the new website will have more photo slideshows, more video capabilities, things like audio journalism … just very interesting ways for us to tell the news that connect more deeply with the University readership community.”
For Public Policy junior Sam Gringlas, the new managing news editor, fair and thorough coverage will also mean expanding the breadth and depth of news content to include series on hard-hitting issues relevant to the University community. He said this will require cross-section collaboration to enhance modes of storytelling.
Continuing coverage of diversity and sexual misconduct are other priorities for Gringlas.
“We’ve started some initiatives to begin looking into that over this first semester,” Gringlas said. “I think now that we’ve laid a lot of ground work for that, we’ll have the time and the talent to really follow through.”
LSA senior Aarica Marsh and LSA junior Derek Wolfe will serve as editorial page editors. The duo said they will widen their coverage both online and in print.
“We’re pretty excited about incorporating news ethics and reporting skills into our editorial process,” Marsh said. “We’re also relaunching our blog content.”
Business junior Max Cohen and LSA sophomore Jake Lourim, co-managing sports editors, said their priorities will lie in continuing to produce top-notch coverage of all the University’s athletic teams.
“I think we have some great sports coverage in store — huge transitions in Michigan football right now, as everyone knows, and I look forward to keeping up to date with those and creating some good stories as a section,” Cohen said.
LSA junior Chloe Gilke and LSA junior Adam DePollo will serve as co-managing arts editors. Gilke said they have begun to plan workshops to familiarize their writers with a variety of reporting experiences. The duo also aims to up their coverage of local music.
In 2015, the Daily will also work to expand its content across media beyond written articles. Art & Design sophomore Kaylla Cantilina, the Daily’s new managing video editor, said she plans to continue to develop the Daily’s video section, partially by more smoothly integrating with other sections for collaboration.
LSA junior Allison Farrand and LSA junior Ruby Wallau, the co-managing photo editors, voiced a similar sentiment.
“We’re really excited to bring more developed photo content online within the framework of better online photo features, better quality (and) better galleries,” Farrand said. “We’re also still excited to have more photo stories in print as well as online.”
LSA junior Ian Dillingham, Statement magazine editor, said he will work to facilitate long-form writing that captures the student experience.
“We’re always looking to increase the quality of our content and give all students on campus the voice that they deserve and really highlight the most pressing issues that face students,” Dillingham said.
LSA sophomore Shane Achenbach and Art & Design sophomore Emily Schumer will serve as co-managing design editors. Schumer said she is looking forward to further innovating the Daily’s page design by working more regularly with individual sections.
“We are also looking to remodel some aspects of the paper and create a more regular variety in the way of illustrations and layout,” Schumer said.
LSA junior Hannah Bates and LSA sophomore Laura Schinagle, co-copy chiefs, said they are working to streamline the application process of their section. This year, they said, 80 people competed for six spots on the copy desk, and the six weren’t chosen until after Fall Break because of the application volume.
The Michigan Daily involves around 200 student editorial staff members each semester and is financially and editorially independent of the University’s administration.
A previous version of this story referred to LSA sophomore Shane Achenbach as a student in the School of Art & Design; to Art & Design sophomore Emily Schumer as an LSA student; and to Art & Design sophomore Kaylla Cantilina as an LSA junior. The story has been updated online.