A Note to Readers

To our readers:

Today marks the first paper of The Crimson’s 144th year, and as we start the presses anew for 2017, we wanted to give you an update on where we’re headed.

In today’s world, journalism seems to be increasingly up for grabs: its role, its contribution, and most gravely, its impact. Some may see a daily newspaper as a quaint throwback to an older time, and our readers certainly stay abreast with events in ways The Crimson’s first guard, writing in 1873, could hardly have imagined.

We do not pretend to have the answers to these challenges, many of which have national or global implications. Instead, we want to focus on doing what we believe we can do best: informing and educating Harvard and Cambridge.

We are huge believers, unsurprisingly, in the importance of the press. We believe that a less informed campus would be a poorer one, an unquestioned administration a less successful one. At an institution dedicated to education and knowledge about the wider world, journalism about our neck of the woods should matter greatly.

Our aim, as always, is to bring you timely, high-quality, and accurate journalism. We’re investing in investigative and enterprise reporting, continuing to hone our writing, and working to ensure that we’re first—and right—when news breaks.

We also know that news is so much more than our articles. We’re doubling down on multimedia, design, and technology to present our content in new and innovative ways. We’re constantly reassessing how we can better reach you, whether via email, social media, the website, or the print paper. And we’re committed to making sure that our editorial page remains the best forum for Harvard affiliates to sound off on the issues that matter.

These goals are made more challenging by squeezed budgets, a trend at media outlets nationwide to which The Crimson is not immune. Nevertheless, we are proud of the work that our business department does each day to make possible our educational and journalistic mission. Our promise to you is to never subordinate our journalism to our finances.

We’re indebted to those who’ve come before, showing us the ropes, forgiving our mistakes, and putting up with us in general over the past several years. They ought to be proud of The Crimson’s successes.

At the same time, today’s paper, like the many to come this year, would not be possible without more than 300 remarkably talented Crimeds who now take the helm. We are deeply thankful to our classmates who volunteer their time and their energy to make this place tick, pitching advertisements, writing articles, and sometimes just hanging around. In particular, to our friends on the masthead, thank you for doing this crazy thing with us.

We think we speak for most in saying that The Crimson is unique, and this year, it is our priority to make sure that this building can be that for all Harvard students, no matter who they are or from where they came.

At a student newspaper, every day is an all-hands-on-deck day, and so we need the best talent we can find. But diversity in our newsroom, our business offices, and our leadership isn’t just good for the quality of our journalism and the stability of our finances—though needed there it is. Simply, diversity is good because it’s right.

Most importantly, a newspaper cannot happen without readers. We encourage you to let us know when you think we err, and we ask for another year of your readership and faith. The Crimson’s first issue, printed on January 24, 1873, proudly declared, “I will be read.” Our job is to once again turn that promise into reality, earning your confidence as well as your time, and always being keenly aware that 144 years of trust are no sure guarantee of the next 12 months.

Thank you to our readers, our colleagues, and our friends—we couldn’t do it without you.

Keep the old sheet flying,

Derek K. Choi ’18
President, 144th Guard

Andrew M. Duehren ’18
Managing Editor, 144th Guard

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