Editor’s Farewell: The Daily classroom

Opinion by Edward Ngai
Feb. 3, 2014, 12:09 a.m.

When I first came to the Daily office as a wide-eyed ProFro, I was 16, a young writer with no experience but a blog post or two for a small online publication back home. I didn’t know how much the next three years would change me; I certainly did not know that I would one day be writing this letter.

Six months ago, I ran for this position with the goal of reinvigorating the Daily classroom: We are a newsroom and a business, but above all we must be a place for student reporters, designers and photographers to learn about the craft. This is as true for me as it is for every other Daily staffer.

But the Daily editorship has taught me far more than management and communication skills. More than anything, working here has shown me the richness and diversity of Stanford life. Manning the student groups news desk has opened my mind to the very best of this campus; watching Stanford sports with the Daily team put me on a crash course in a dozen sports I had never seen live before.

The team that I got to work with this volume humbles me. I learned what it was like to be truly motivated by one’s colleagues, watching editors cram in problem sets during marathon editing nights and amazed by their ambition and industriousness. I learned what it was like to be a Stanford sports fan, watching Winston Shi pray not only at the two-minute warning, but on every third down.

I learned that “my” Stanford — the school I knew in my early days here — was only a very small part of the “real” Stanford. And while I have spent my fair share of time complaining of this place’s social ills — duck syndrome, passive-aggressive competitiveness and “relentless politeness,” among others — working at The Daily has shown me that I may have been too cynical, too closed-minded. Leading this incredible institution has opened my eyes to the breathtaking scale of Stanford’s operations and the diversity of Stanford life.

Above all, I feel incredibly lucky to have had this opportunity. The Daily has defined my college career so far and I am blessed for everything it has given me. In particular, I would like to thank Stanford’s awesome Communication Department, whose faculty and affiliates have lent decades of irreplaceable support to student editors.

I’ve learned a lot over my time here, but I have had no education quite like working with my friend and The Daily’s new editor-in-chief. Regardless of his morning midterm or a long night in the lab, George Chen would burn the midnight oil with me until the paper was done. From him, I have learned what it means to be an organized manager, committed editor and loyal friend. I can’t thank him enough and could not be more confident of the Daily’s direction in the coming volume.

“Farewell” is not the right way to describe this column. In my platform for editor-in-chief, I expressed hope that my tenure would only serve as a launching point for the two years of transformation and innovation necessary to keep The Daily current in an industry undergoing breathtaking change. This week, I return to my familiar spot on the student groups news desk, working with new writers and covering Stanford’s vibrant student life. It’s the job I am best cut out for and something I remain deeply passionate about.

I can’t fathom what my life would be like without The Daily. I’m lucky I don’t have to face that reality for two more years.

Thank you, as always, for reading.


Edward Ngai

President and Editor in Chief, Volume CCXLIV


Contact Ed Ngai with all due congratulations and fanfare at [email protected]

Edward Ngai is a senior staff writer at The Stanford Daily. Previously, he has worked as a news desk editor, staff development editor and columnist. He was president and editor-in-chief of The Daily for Vol. 244 (2013-2014). Edward is a junior from Vancouver, Canada studying political science. This summer, he is the Daniel Pearl Memorial Intern at the Wall Street Journal.

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