Sophomore Abby Spiller was elected Friday as the editor-in-chief of The Chronicle’s 120th volume.
In a staff-wide election, members of the student newspaper chose Spiller to succeed junior Audrey Wang 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.
Spiller, who is from Brookline, Mass., is double majoring in political science and Asian and Middle Eastern studies. She is currently an editor-at-large and will begin her one-year term as editor-in-chief on April 24.
“I'm excited to foster a collaborative office culture and increase interdepartmental coverage,” Spiller said. “The upcoming year offers a unique opportunity to expand our reach and coverage of Duke — the old, the current and the new.”
Spiller hopes to embed diversity, equity and inclusion as a “priority and value” at The Chronicle, helping the paper strive to produce journalism that reflects the diversity of the University community.
“If we expand our DEI, then we’re able to overall create more comprehensive coverage that’s most reflective of the University and the institutions within it,” Spiller said.
She also wants to make the paper an integral part of student culture again by expanding multimedia operations and exploring the use of interactive elements similar to those of The New York Times games section.
Spiller is also looking to improve interdepartmental collaboration through the development of a more streamlined training process that can prepare writers to jump between different departments. Other priorities include creating a faster mentor pairing system that can prepare and retain interested new writers as quickly as possible.
Wang called Spiller a “joy to work with,” citing her “great passion for journalism that is very rare to see.” Spiller transferred to Duke as a sophomore after studying journalism for three semesters at the University of Richmond, a small liberal arts college. Wang noted that her unique student experience would bring a “fresh perspective” to The Chronicle.
“I’m just really thankful that everyone on The Chronicle placed their trust in me,” Spiller said. “Even though I’m a transfer student, they see my potential and my ability to lead The Chronicle, which is an honor.”
As editor, Spiller will lead the paper through the 2024 elections in a state projected to be a contentious battleground. She will also be tasked with leading The Chronicle through Duke’s 100th year, which Spiller is looking to tackle with a new subcommittee to lead Centennial coverage.
“I’m most excited for how she covers elections and the centennial,” Wang said. “I know those will be two huge topics that I think she has a lot of potential to do really well.”
Associate News Editor and sophomore Zoe Kolenovsky lauded Spiller’s commitment to the “values of journalistic integrity.”
“I think she's really committed to The Chronicle as an organization and to not only uplifting the community that we have here within the office, but also the Duke community as a whole,” she said.
Kolenovsky, who will work closely with Spiller as news editor during The Chronicle’s 120th volume, said she is excited to see where Spiller will take the paper.
“I really admire Abby and her commitment to connecting personally with the rest of the staff,” she said. “She is a new member of The Chronicle, but I’ve really seen her dedication to building strong relationships with people across departments — not just in news, but with sports, opinion, photo, recess and all aspects of the organization.”
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.
Jazper Lu is a Trinity junior and managing editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.