The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

The 119th Goodbye

A year in the life of The Cavalier Daily is never what one expects, and it is always an incredible thing to observe. By the end of the year, it is hard to remember how one felt at the beginning and what one hoped to accomplish. As our year as the Managing Board ends, all we can say for sure is that we were privileged to work with some of the most talented students on Grounds and to see first-hand what happens when a staff made up of students under the age of 22 runs a business.

We entered our offices with ambitious and specific plans. Looking back at our first editorial from last January, we see a number of individual goals that did not work out how we had hoped — but we also see a set of ideals that our staff has furthered during the past year.

We sought throughout the course of our term to expand our content to give our readers even more of a reason to pick up our paper. The feature stories our News staff turned out — the most controversial of which dealt with complex issues of Honor Committee policy — helped us meet that goal. Innovative content like the Life section’s biweekly “Marketplace” section provided information relevant to many of our readers during these uncertain economic times, while the new “Love Connection” page has developed quite a fan base.

We mentioned in January that we wanted to involve the University community beyond our staff in the production of our paper. The Opinion section’s “Views Around Grounds” feature added the opinions of non-staff members to the section. Our relationship with Hoos News has brought non-staff members into our very office space, as have our efforts to build relationships with student leaders and administrators.

Not every challenge we faced was anticipated in January, however. Yet another controversy over a cartoon forced us to reconsider our policies in the spring, but the resulting change has thus far served to protect both our artists and the quality of our product. The new Web site we unveiled in the summer has been riddled with problems, but we have slowly dealt with them as they arose. We addressed inefficiencies in our editing process and created a new schedule that allows our staff to complete their tasks much earlier than in the past.

Through all of this progress and change, our staff continued to produce comprehensive coverage every day. In the fall, we had a front-row seat to history as we covered the campaign and election of our nation’s 44th president. Our reporters’ work brought to light stories about changes on the Corner, the football team’s failings on and off the field, honor trials on Semester at Sea and many, many others that have sparked discussion. Asking the questions that hold our leaders accountable is the most important role of The Cavalier Daily, and our staff proved themselves worthy of that responsibility.

In our first editorial, we noted that a newspaper has a symbiotic relationship with its readers, and we asked ours to let us know when we have made mistakes. Perhaps we should have known better than to think our readers needed to be asked. Though it is sometimes discouraging, we would not have learned as much without the feedback of our readers, and we thank you for it.

Looking back on all that took place over the past year, we realize that every one of this newspaper’s 119 years has been a struggle. Though it is hard now to step back and let others lead it through the next year, we are proud to have been part of the history of this dynamic institution — and we feel secure promising many more years of excellence.

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