Column: Editor’s Note

By Se Young Lee

Dear Readers,

The past six weeks have been tumultuous for the entire staff, as this newspaper ended up making the news instead of reporting it. The circumstances surrounding the departure of Acton H. Gorton and Chuck Prochaska were unfortunate and regrettable.

I would like to apologize for the embarrassingly public airing of this newsroom’s dirty laundry. I would also like to make it known that this staff harbors no ill will toward Gorton or Prochaska. I wish both of them luck in their future endeavors.

The intense scrutiny placed upon the student journalists and the professional staff, as well as the added pressure to maintain the quality of the daily content while shorthanded, have pushed all of us to our very limits.

But, as the incoming editor in chief, and as a student journalist with many shortcomings, I am humbled and honored to be asked to lead this staff. I take heart in the amount of sheer dedication and determination that the staff showed under the leadership of interim editors in chief Jason Koch and Shira Weissman. It was, is and will always be this newspaper’s mission to do its best to provide a public service to benefit our readers. The staff never lost sight of that mission.

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This will be pivotal year for this newspaper and the rest of the Illini Media Company as we move into our new building. As other professional newspapers across the nation are suffering from declining readership, it will be imperative for this student paper to evolve and adapt to the Internet age.

While many have predicted a slow and painful death for this industry, it is my belief that the World Wide Web will finally provide an opportunity for newspapers everywhere to catch up to the broadcast media. With proper integration of the traditional reporting skills and multimedia presentation, newspapers finally have the ability to instantaneously report on breaking news.

As broadband penetration in the U.S. and the rest of the world continues, the path to future survival and prosperity for the newspaper industry will become only clearer and starker.

It is the hope and vision of the Illini Media Company to realize this goal through the integration of its various branches and adaptation to newly available technologies.

The ability to convert a crisis into an opportunity is a mark of greatness. And it is my sincere hope that I will be able to lay the foundation for this newspaper to continue on with its 130-year tradition of serving the students of the University and beyond.

There is much work that needs to be done, and I would be lying to say that I am without trepidation as I think of the challenges that lie before this newspaper. But I have faith in this institution, and those who are working as we speak to make it better with unwavering conviction. Together, we can make this paper great. And we will do everything in our power to make this paper the best it can be.

You deserve nothing less.

Se Young Lee is a junior in Communications and the editor in chief of the Daily Illini.