In an office-wide election last Friday, Breanna Bradham was unanimously elected to become the 114th editor-in-chief of The Chronicle. Bre, as she is known by many staff members, will succeed our current Editor-in-Chief, Likhitha Butchireddygari, on April 25, to lead our student newspaper. We congratulate Bre for being selected among an extremely talented pool of student journalists to helm the celebrated publication. Moreover, we would like to take this editorial space to reflect on the position, and what it means to occupy such an integral leadership role within the Duke community.
More so than the president of DSG, the position of Young Trustee, or even the roles of certain administrators on campus, the editor-in-chief is front and center in terms of directly impacting the student experience. Whereas the inner workings of DSG, the Board of Trustees and the administration are often left opaque and esoteric to most students, The Chronicle leaves little to be imagined in terms of reporting on the Duke experience. Browse through any edition of The Chronicle and students are sure to find breaking stories about administrators behaving negligently, criticisms of Greek life and the latest commentary on Duke basketball. As head of one of the most transparent, widely read organizations on campus, the editor-in-chief’s role is thus to specifically curate and manage the multifaceted breaking news stories, commentaries and reports in service of the student body.
Specifically, being editor-in-chief means exercising extreme flexibility and knowledge concerning all of the diverse departments within The Chronicle: news, sports, recess (the arts section), opinion, editorial board, Towerview, etc. In recent memory, past editor-in-chiefs have hailed from specific departments and have had to learn the disparate procedures and workings of other units within the newspaper. As a student journalist with a wide swathe of diverse departmental experiences, we are confident that Bre will be able to leverage such understandings to successfully navigate the publication in a more collaborative, cross-departmental manner.
The position of editor-in-chief also requires making controversial, unprecedented decisions that will undoubtedly affect the direction of both The Chronicle and the greater student body. In the face of declining print readership and the ever-quickening pace of the digital revolution within the world of journalism, The Chronicle has embraced this change over the last few years, cutting to three print days per week and improving our online format and graphics. Bre, throughout her campaign, has emphasized her strategies to continue the digital revolution within The Chronicle with plans to expand the audio/visual team and to hire an opinion photo editor. Going into the 114th volume of The Chronicle, Bre will undoubtedly do a commendable job in continuing to revolutionize our beloved publication.
Finally, as editor-in-chief, one is also tasked with creating a healthy, interactive community for the many students who choose to call The Chronicle their home. No other place on campus can claim to have members of Greek life, DSG senators, independents, student-athletes, R.A.s and many others all on one staff. However, when staff members work in disparate sections of The Chronicle, they can often feel somewhat alienated from other journalists working outside the purview of their departments. It is the editor-in-chief’s job to be an active community member in each department, and to facilitate an open, social community of student journalists, no matter our divergent news topics or campus backgrounds. All aspects of the role considered, we again welcome Bre as she prepares herself for what will be another momentous year for The Chronicle and Duke. In serving the student body, may the spirit of journalistic integrity and progress guide her.
Note: This editorial was written by the board chairs
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