Letter from the Editor: Fighting Complacency

Opinion by George Chen
Feb. 9, 2014, 10:41 p.m.

On the fence of the Stanford football practice field hangs a banner that reads, “You are either getting better or you are getting worse; you never stay the same.”

The Stanford Daily will live by that mantra this volume, even if most of our staffers can’t throw a football that remotely resembles a spiral.

For decades, The Daily has prided itself on publishing a paper five days a week. As an editor who has worked in the Daily newsroom on a regular basis for the last two volumes, I can tell you that getting a paper out the door Sunday through Thursday is no easy feat. Countless dedicated staffers have stayed up until the wee hours of the morning — working in a collective effort that continues to astound me — to ensure that a paper will fall into the hands of our readers without fail.

But it’s easy to be lulled into complacency. Publishing a paper five days a week is the status quo — it does not automatically make us better, and if we think that it makes us better, then we will only get worse.

There are bigger goals that The Daily hopes to achieve.

First and foremost, The Stanford Daily is a digital-first media company. In this new digital age, media organizations are struggling to adapt to the constantly changing landscape of the 24-hour news cycle and the ever-expanding, reader-driven social media sphere. News is no longer streamlined. Column inches are no longer relevant. Distribution strategies have given way to search engine optimization. These changes are new, quick and sometimes frightening, and no news organization can truly predict where it will be in ten years.

But despite these changes, The Daily wants to attack, not adapt. We want to use our website and social media to showcase content and engage our readers in ways that we have never done before. While we continue to bring you accurate and timely reporting, we will also strive to package our content better through increased use of multimedia and graphics.

This volume, The Daily plans to unveil a redesigned website to accomplish those goals. Sleeker and sharper, the site will allow readers to fully interact and immerse themselves with our content, be it a sports feature or a photo gallery. Social media will be integrated, long-form writing will be presented better and columnists will be given more spotlight.

Stanforddaily.com will be better, I promise you.

That is not to say that we are shifting our focus away from our print product. Launched in September, the Weekend Edition has covered major campus issues and events, including the growing presence of arts at Stanford, the 50th reunion of LSJUMB and religious life on campus. Our first Weekend Edition of Volume 245, published last Friday, included two covers, one featuring fashion at Stanford and the other the 10th anniversary of Nick Robinson’s legendary buzzer-beater in Stanford basketball’s unforgettable 80-77 victory against Arizona. And in a few weeks, we will be publishing a Weekend Edition focusing on student-athletes.

The Weekend Edition has been an exciting new project that we look to develop even further this volume as we constantly strive to expand our readership by producing content that is relevant to the everyday student.

From print to web, from stories to photos, we at The Daily always take pride in our work, and it is my hope that this pride resonates with our readers throughout the volume.

As always, thank you for reading.

George Chen ’15

President and editor in chief, Vol. CCXLV

Contact him at [email protected].

George Chen is a senior staff writer at The Stanford Daily who writes football, football and more football. Previously he worked at The Daily as the President and Editor in Chief, Executive Editor, Managing Editor of Sports, the football beat reporter and a sports desk editor. George also co-authored The Daily's recent book documenting the rise of Stanford football, "Rags to Roses." He is a senior from Painted Post, NY majoring in Biology. To contact him, please email at [email protected].

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