Sophomore Leah Boyd was elected Friday as the editor-in-chief of The Chronicle’s 117th volume.
In a staff-wide election, members of the student newspaper unanimously chose Boyd to succeed junior Matthew Griffin as editor-in-chief of The Chronicle and president of the Duke Student Publishing Company, Inc., the publisher of the independent, student-run daily newspaper.
Boyd, a biomedical engineering major from Huntington, N.Y., will begin her one-year tenure as editor on April 22. She is currently a University news editor.
“Writing for The Chronicle has been one of the few constants of my Duke experience,” Boyd said. “Both before and during COVID-19, I was able to write and edit for the paper and maintain really strong friendships along the way.”
As editor-in-chief, Boyd hopes to encourage interdepartmental partnerships, such as photo and video essays to accompany feature stories. She also wants to curate a “more creative, personal” digital strategy to increase reader engagement and develop a better idea of what the community wishes to see.
Boyd plans to implement a fellowship program to support staff members from communities that are underrepresented in journalism as they take on leadership roles in The Chronicle and pursue professional careers in journalism, akin to the Sharif Durhams Leadership Program at The Daily Tar Heel.
“I want The Chronicle to represent students of marginalized identities both in our coverage and internally on our staff,” Boyd said. “With this program and our intentional efforts next year, students from underrepresented groups will be able to take on important roles in The Chronicle, find opportunities upon graduating and engage in programming throughout the year that really helps them develop as journalists and future leaders.”
Griffin cited Boyd’s work in the early months of the pandemic as evidence of her dedication to The Chronicle.
“I am impressed with the work Leah has done over the past two years, and I’m proud to know I will be handing the reins over to her this spring,” Griffin said. “I think it’s telling how, when the pandemic hit, she stepped up and put in the work to make sure the Duke community had the news it needed during a time when our role was more important than ever. I know she’ll bring the same hard work and dedication to her work as editor-in-chief.”
Managing Editor Maria Morrison, a junior, expressed faith in Boyd’s ability to identify and pursue important stories.
“Leah has proven herself as a journalist for years, and I’m excited to see her step into this big role,” Morrison said. “I have no doubt she’ll do great. Not only does she care deeply about reporting the facts of news, but she also cares about pursuing stories important to the Duke community as a whole.”
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News Editor Mona Tong, a junior, commended Boyd’s dedication and expressed confidence in her ability to “leave The Chronicle and its community a better place.”
“It has been such a privilege to work with Leah for the past two years. She has been a powerhouse writer and reporter from day one, in addition to a fantastic editor and empathetic leader,” Tong said. “She is talented, passionate and cares deeply about the Duke and Durham communities.”
Boyd’s primary goal is to “interrogate the definition of a new normal” at Duke through community-centered reporting, building on the foundation left by previous editors, she said.
“Matthew and [Volume 115 Editor-in-Chief Jake Satisky] are and were both phenomenal editors. I have big shoes to fill, but they both teach me more and more every day about being editor-in-chief and how to navigate difficult situations,” Boyd said.
Nadia Bey is a Trinity junior and managing editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.