Your support makes it possible to run The Daily Illini

“Newspapers are a dying industry” is the banner that flies in the face of every media outlet that has the fighting spirit to run the presses despite the dismal drop in the readership of traditional broadsheet newspapers, giving way to an increased online audience.

Just more than a month ago, news broke about The Daily Illini’s unfortunate financial state, which, to the delight of our staff, raised from the shadows support for the work we do here — alumni, faculty and even other universities voiced their concerns about our newspaper’s situation. Most importantly, we received, what I would call, overwhelming support from the students, concerned about the future of this publication.

We wouldn’t be here producing content five days a week if it weren’t for the University’s students. Everything we do, from writing, researching and reporting to producing and distributing this paper, is for our readers — the students.

Here, I speak for myself. Before arriving on campus, the utterance of “The Daily Illini” meant nothing to me. I once read that two years from now, you won’t recognize yourself. Well, two years after sitting in my first lecture in Foellinger Auditorium, I find myself as the opinions editor. Everyone says it, but it’s true: Never would I have seen myself here.

Now that I am, I have a responsibility to you, our readers. In any newspaper, we columnists, bloggers and cartoonists have a special role of contextualizing news stories and coloring them a new shade. We take the news stories of the day a step further to argue their relevance and merit. Sometimes, a news story cannot speak for itself, so we give it a voice.

What is most interesting about being able speak where news cannot is that we can also listen in a way that news cannot. We want to hear what you have to say. We want a dialogue — for you to join the conversation.

As I move into the coming year as editor, I expect Opinions to continue to push what we have to say into the lecture halls, cafeterias and libraries in which you read us. Because even if newspapers are a dying industry, we, and what we have to say, are not going anywhere.

Ryan is a sophomore in LAS.