Sophomore Likhitha Butchireddygari will serve as the editor-in-chief of The Chronicle’s 113th volume.

In an election Friday evening, The Chronicle's staff chose Butchireddygari to succeed junior Claire Ballentine as editor and president of the Duke Student Publishing Company, Inc., the publisher of the independent, student-run daily newspaper. 

Butchireddygari, who currently heads the local and national news department, will begin her one-year term April 26. As editor, she said one of her main objectives will be to build infrastructure to help the newspaper create a variety of multimedia content.

“We need to start thinking about accruing the necessary equipment and people to do the things that we want to do regarding digital products and digital content,” Butchireddygari said. “I know that we have the necessary interest and drive on staff to get those people and that equipment into our office.”

Butchireddygari said she hopes her Program II major “Digital Democracy and Data” will help her achieve her goals as editor.

“A large part of [my major] is about how journalism is evolving. I think that while I’m considering that, I realize a lot of journalism now is about multimedia content and the digital presence of an organization," she said. "I think [this initiative] will be a great intersection for my education and my work at The Chronicle.”

Butchireddygari also hopes to address issues of diversity and representation among The Chronicle staff. A staff demographics survey was administered at the election Friday, the results of which will be published this week. Butchireddygari said she would like to use the data to increase diversity in areas of race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and other identity markers.

Digital content director Adam Beyer, a junior, noted his enthusiasm for Butchireddygari's initiatives.

"Likhitha combines creativity with a willingness to ensure her ideas are executed," Beyer said. "The Chronicle needs that spirit as it continues to transition toward a digital-first model."

Junior Abigail Xie, who currently serves as news editor, said she believes that Butchireddygari is the best person for the position.

"I think her experience covering so many aspects of news has given her an important understanding of how this campus works," Xie said. "I can't wait to see her be the fearless leader I know she is."

Ballentine also expressed her enthusiasm for the appointment, noting Butchireddygari's dedication to The Chronicle and love of journalism. 

In addition, Ballentine said that she was pleased with the staff-wide discussion Friday and the willingness of staff members to support Butchireddygari during her term. 

"Likhitha has always been so passionate about The Chronicle, and I'm excited to see what she brings to this organization next year," Ballentine said.