Provide a newspaper for the students

With the printing of this issue, the Technique is done for the semester, and starting this summer I’ll be taking over as editor-in-chief. For those who swear I’ve already been at Tech forever and wonder why I haven’t graduated yet, I should mention that I’m staying for grad school.

I applied for the editor-in-chief position having accumulated in the back of my mind over my time with the Technique a collection of things I would do if I were ever entrusted with power. These include changes to the way we do things in the office as well as changes to the final published product. But although I haven’t officially started yet beyond doing a couple administrative tasks, I’ve already discovered that with all the behind-the-scenes work that comes up it’s going to be challenging to keep chasing all the extra ambitions that made me want to be editor-in-chief in the first place.

That’s why I’m asking the readers of the Technique to help me. This newspaper, which was already great enough to win a first-place award in General Excellence from the Georgia College Press Association a couple of months ago, can still improve more with your feedback. So right now I’m going to list some of my top goals, and I want you to also keep them in mind over the upcoming year. If you find next year that I’m not taking steps to live up to these promises, submit a letter to the editor and call me out.

The first thing I want to do is establish greater trust with the Tech community. We want to work for you, so always feel free to contact us about any issue facing campus, big or small, and know that we’ll handle it with the utmost accuracy and responsibility. The Technique is an office full of people who would love to do some real investigative reporting and pull the blindfold from Tech students’ eyes with regards to some issue on campus. Our problem is that we’re not always aware what those issues are, and the people that are aware might not trust us enough to talk to us about it.

Related to that, one of our secrets here is that some of our stories contain not much more information than you could have figured out just by going through the most recent campus-wide e-mails in your inbox. On one hand, it’s true that part of our job is to summarize information from multiple sources in order to simplify your life, but if we’re not giving you anything new then we’re not doing enough. I want you to count on us to provide you with knowledge that is relevant to your lives—not just scratching the surface on issues but finding out the truth at the heart of the matter, as well as asking people the hard questions to which we as journalists have a responsibility to find the answers.

Another way we can get better in touch with the student body is to diversify our staff. Diversity is not just a buzzword; it’s a genuine advantage to an organization such as ours, which depends on having access to as many perspectives and facts as possible. It’s also an area where we stand to improve quite a bit. Whatever perceived barriers there are to involvement here, whether they’re due to us not reaching out enough or due to misconceptions, I hope to tear down.

Furthermore, connecting to the student body means taking advantage of the power and convenience of the Internet. You might have noticed that this year our web site finally took a step into the twenty-first century, but we still have work to do. Besides the fact that some of the functionality is still broken, we plan to incorporate new features to provide additional value compared to the print publication. I want you to eventually come to rely on as much as you rely on the printed version.

I also want to improve our newspaper’s physical presentation, continuing the progress this year in making our newspaper more engaging from an aesthetic standpoint, with creative and attractive layouts, beautiful photographs and informative and eye-catching charts and tables. One of the realities of writing for a newspaper is knowing that not everybody is going to read your entire article from start to finish, so when it comes to delivering important and necessary, but possibly boring, information to you we will work hard to capture your attention and then effectively and efficiently inform you before your mind wanders someplace else.

This is not an all-inclusive list, but it encompasses many of the major areas where we could use improvement. Please feel free to send me an e-mail anytime at [email protected], whether you’re giving feedback, making a suggestion, or chewing me out a year from now for forgetting to do any of these things.