Editor’s welcome: safeguarding free press

Sept. 26, 2011, 3:01 a.m.

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the start of The Daily’s 240th volume, which marks our 38th year of publishing independently and our 119th year in print.

Every day, our mission is to provide you, the Stanford community, with fair and accurate news and stories that matter, whether you find them in features, sports, opinions, or in our weekly arts and entertainment insert, Intermission. We are also here to help educate the young journalists on campus.

Over the upcoming months, dozens of editors, writers, photographers, graphics artists and business staffers will work behind the scenes on a daily basis to assemble the content that appears on these pages. Our content is also available digitally on our website, mobile app, Facebook and Twitter.

The Daily’s independent status is something I’ve come to take very seriously. After spending this past summer reporting in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region where the press is not completely free, I have come to see a liberalized press as a truly essential aspect of a humanitarian, democratic society, and something we should never take for granted.

I was working at an investigative newspaper in South Africa, where the government has a history of censoring media. The walls of the newsroom were covered with front pages where headlines exposed government corruption. Within stories, quotes and the names of sources were blacked out with ink before the paper went to press, swallowing up information the public would never read.

Just earlier this month, the South African parliament approved a draft of the “secrecy bill,” which, if passed, is expected to bring the death of investigative journalism in the country.

Amid the threat of censorship, one thing sustains these journalists: a fundamental belief in their country–their community–and its potential to overcome any challenge.

It is this same belief in a community–in the Stanford community–that motivates our reporters and staffers, to offer you the best coverage of Stanford that we can.

I encourage you to pick up The Daily when you see it in the dining hall, at one of our other 150 campus locations or at one of our nearly 500 locations in Palo Alto and the surrounding area. If you would like to receive Daily headlines in your inbox, subscribe for our daily email digest at stanforddaily.com.

If you’re interested in getting involved in any aspect of the paper, you can reach me by email at [email protected] or come to Daily 101X next Monday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at our Lorry I. Lokey office, just behind Old Union on Panama Mall. No prior experience is necessary to join.

If you’d like to contact The Daily or have a suggestion for coverage, please feel free to reach us at (650)-721-5801 or to contact me directly on my office phone at (650)-721-5815. You can also find me on the second floor of the Lorry I. Lokey office Sunday through Thursday from 6:30 p.m. onward. Our editors are available for questions, concerns, or comments, so please look to the staff box on page six to find the editor you’d like to contact.

If there is an issue you would like to discuss with our readership, you can submit an op-ed or write a letter to the editor. If you see a mistake, let us know; we value accuracy and will publish corrections.

I hope you’ll visit The Daily at least once while you’re at Stanford, or even stop by to share your thoughts.

Free, ethical reporting–without University oversight–is an incredible responsibility. I hope that by engaging with you, we can offer a platform for discussion and change, and that this forum will help our community thrive.

Kathleen Chaykowski

Editor in chief and President, Vol. CCXXXX

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