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BROOM: Starting off with success

The Cavalier Daily Managing Board should be commended for their social media outreach efforts

I am encouraged by the first week the newly elected Managing Board of The Cavalier Daily and their staff has had. As I noted last week, I was impressed with the work of the outgoing Board. I offered some suggestions about what the new Board should focus on, but I admitted to being curious about what they would do. I don’t believe that my ideas are the only ones that are worthwhile for The Cavalier Daily, but I am still gratified that those ideas do seem to line up with the initial goals for the new Board.

Beginning with their first lead editorial, the new Board laid out their vision for the coming year, including increased inter-section collaboration, more investigative reporting and more local stories, including state politics. These are all welcome goals and will, in my estimation, improve the paper for the readers. It felt this past week like the local focus was already evident. All of the news articles were about events going on at the University, in the immediate community or in state-level politics. All of the stories have been relevant to the University community in direct ways, too. From a report on an oncology biotech company growing out of University research partnering with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, to an article about a proposed bill in the Virginia state house of delegates that would give students the right to an attorney in many UJC and perhaps some Honor trials, readers of The Cavalier Daily can get a good picture of what’s going on at the University right now.

Beyond just the news stories, social media is springing to life. The Cavalier Daily News Twitter feed tweeted for the first time in a couple of months late last week. They hope to tweet daily starting soon, which will be very welcome. If you’re not looking at the print issue, it can still be difficult to find every article online as the website continues to be refined. Tweeting out links in addition to breaking news will help fill in those gaps. Twitter remains a particularly good tool for breaking news and events that are ongoing. The removal of the magnolia trees around the Rotunda as a part of the ongoing renovations is an excellent example. Various Twitter feeds from The Cavalier Daily — including the photography department’s and the main feed — offered photos and solicited feedback. Eventually these were all collected into a Storify thread to allow readers to get a full picture of the event. This was a good use of the access The Cavalier Daily staff has to such things at the University combined with the quick ability to get information to their readers via outlets other than the print edition.

The work also dovetails with work being done in other areas of the paper and online. Another fantastic example of what The Cavalier Daily staff can offer online in their multimedia capacity is their look at the next phase of the Rotunda renovations. The video by Drew Precious is well-produced and informative. This sort of project is precisely the sort of thing that The Cavalier Daily should be doing online.

The newly elected Managing Board of The Cavalier Daily is off to a good start. With several goals, it will be difficult to accomplish all of them well, but the initial efforts are impressive, and it is clear to me after following the paper and associated digital content closely over the past many months that the Managing Board of this paper will not lack for ambition and effort going forward. I look forward to more active Twitter feeds, more informative and interesting multimedia reports and the new focus on local stories affecting our community.

Christopher Broom is the public editor for The Cavalier Daily. He can be reached at publiceditor@cavalierdaily.com or on Twitter at @cd_publiceditor.


Published February 2, 2014 in Opinion

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