The staff of The Chronicle elected sophomore Yeshwanth Kandimalla as editor-in-chief of the newspaper’s 108th volume.
Kandimalla was elected Friday to succeed Editor Sanette Tanaka, a senior, for a one-year term at the helm of the student-run, independent daily newspaper. He will also serve as president of the Duke Student Publishing Company, Inc., which publishes The Chronicle. Kandimalla will officially assume the role of editor in May.
As editor, Kandimalla will lead a staff of approximately 200 student reporters, editors, photographers, layout designers and other contributors. He will also be responsible for the newspaper’s content and serve as the public face of The Chronicle.
In his platform, Kandimalla pledged that as editor, he will improve the online presence of The Chronicle.
“We have a great new website that is more in line with where news organizations are headed,” he said. “It would be a waste for Volume 108 to not capitalize on it, take it further and make us a fully functioning news organization. We have a really strong print edition every day, and I want us to have a really stellar website on a daily basis.”
Kandimalla, an economics major from Alpharetta, Ga., currently serves as Local and National Editor in the News department of The Chronicle. Tanaka said she believes Kandimalla will excel as her successor.
“Throughout his two years at The Chronicle, Yeshwanth has grown so much as a journalist and as a leader,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to working with him this semester and helping him develop the skills that he’s going to need to manage the paper next year.”
As a freshman, Kandimalla joined The Chronicle as a Local and National staff writer and was promoted to co-editor of that department last May.
The editor-in-chief oversees the journalistic endeavors of The Chronicle and also works with the general manager on the business side of the publishing company. Since March 2011, Kandimalla has worked as an external affairs associate in the office of The Chronicle’s Director of External Relations David Rice, fundraising and interacting with Chronicle alumni.
“It’s given him an understanding of how The Chronicle has expanded its fundraising program and its workings with alumni,” Rice said. “He’s been very conscientious and a hard worker, and I think he’ll do a great job.”
Kandimalla’s experience with the business structure of The Chronicle, his journalistic ability and his attitudes toward growing The Chronicle’s online presence make him a triple threat as Chronicle editor-in-chief, said David Graham, vice-chair of the Duke Student Publishing Company’s board of directors.
“The Chronicle Editor is arguably the most influential student on campus,” said Graham, associate editor at The Atlantic and The Chronicle’s editor during its 103rd volume. “The editor of The Chronicle shapes campus opinion and shapes what students know.”
Senior Caroline Fairchild, who is co-editor of the Local and National department with Kandimalla, said she is his biggest fan after seeing how he manages their department.
“I’ve been amazed at how he has grown as a reporter-writer and really is a journalistic visionary,” Fairchild said. “Yeshwanth has all the leadership skills necessary for a successful editor-in-chief. I’ve watched him manage our department, increase the size of our staff and inspire our entire team every day to produce great work. Now he can amplify what he’s done with Local and National to the paper itself.”
Correction: This article has been updated to reflect the fact that the editor-in-chief oversees the journalistic endeavors of The Chronicle and also works with the general manager on the business side of the publishing company.