The independent news organization of Duke University

Being your watchdog

Dear readers,

Shivering in the cold, I held my flip camera under my pink sundress as the random bout of rain relentlessly poured down on me. It was Mega Moral Monday—the third protest to occur outside of the state legislature this summer—and I was desperately hoping to get a video of the protestors getting loaded onto the prison buses. I would stand outside in the bitter cold with Sophia Durand, The Chronicle’s Managing Editor, for two consecutive hours, only to walk away with no footage—they had loaded the prisoners out of sight.

Except standing on that balcony unknowingly preparing for disappointment had a silver lining. Drenched to the core, I wrote down the thoughts of several different kinds of protestors. From Irma Stein, an 87-year-old protestor who attended the event with peace-activist group The Raging Grannies, to Reeve Huston, an associate professor of history, I recorded the voices of those who felt like the State had robbed their ability to speak. In hunger and discomfort, I used a pen and dampened paper to record the human experience.

At its core, that’s what journalism will always be—serving as a watchdog. Amidst challenges and hardships, there will always be the silver lining of knowing that you kept people in the know and gave those silenced a voice.

In the coming year, you will hear about a lot of changes occurring with The Chronicle. We have cut a day of our print edition to focus on a new digital model. With this change, you will see new types of coverage, a new production cycle and a revamped digital presence. We are adapting to a world where timeliness is more important than ever—it’s one that has caused editing schedules to shift and writers’ processes to change. It’s one that has peaked readers’ interests, but also dismayed some. It’s a challenge we are bracing as students who love and deeply care about The Chronicle and the news we cover.

But at the end of the day, amidst all the changes, we will never stop serving as the watchdog for the campus. In fact, we only aim to get better in that regard. Whether it’s a news reporter cracking the case as to why a major campus construction project was halted, a sports reporter breaking the story that the ACC was suing Maryland or a columnist exposing that a top administrator knows about on-campus secret society members, every year we aim to get better at serving as a relevant voice for this campus.

And that’s why, readers, I am now turning to you. As we aim to get better and faster at what we do with our biggest challenge in front of us yet, we want to encourage you to join our team. 

You can participate in a small, but very important, way. Write letters to the editors or guest columns. Follow us on Twitter—@DukeChronicle, @ChronicleSports, @DukeBasketball, @DukeShutter and @ChronicleRecess—to stay up to date with breaking news and story developments. Make your homepage, and be our fan on Facebook. Share your thoughts, ideas and input so we can continue covering the most relevant and interesting news.

Or become an integral part of what we do. Try out any of our departments—News, Sports, Recess, Opinion or Towerview—and see the hard work and fun nights that go into producing our coverage. Become an integral part of our goal to become digital first by helping our Online or Multimedia departments. Or put your visual skills to the test and join our Photo or Design team.

So dip your toe in the water and see what we have to offer.

Open to our center spread and learn about major changes on campus that are occurring right before students’ eyes. Learn about the journey Duke has made to realize its major crop of construction projects, and learn about how they will affect your student experience.

Turn to Sportswrap and learn about the changing landscape of college recruiting, and the similarities between this year's Duke team and last year's Olympic team.

Look to Recess, our weekly arts section, to learn about music in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens and what albums are worth checking out.

And read Towerview for a comprehensive look at Duke and Durham, from what used to be below West Union to the artsy house on Burch Ave.

Because after all, the V.109 Send Home edition was made with all of you in mind. We hope this edition prepares you for your first foray into college life, and inspires you to become a part of this organization in some way or another.

And just know that with everything changing, our commitment as the watchdog of this campus will remain as constant as the light shining out of our window in 301 Flowers throughout the night. 

So dive in, get ready for four amazing years and allow us to play a role in them.

Danielle Muoio is a Trinity junior and Editor-in-Chief of The Chronicle. You can reach her at or follow her on Twitter @muoiod.


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