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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, June 22, 2024
Jack and Jim

The Daily Cardinal’s outgoing Editor-in-Chief, Jack Casey (right), has been grooming the incoming Editor-in-Chief, Jim Dayton (left), as his replacement for 2015-'16

Handing over the keys to the Cardinal

Handing the keys off

I have had the distinct honor of being the last one to turn the lights out in the Cardinal office more times than I can count this year. There is something almost magical about it, in a kind of geeky, newspaper way. But I definitely feel it. Everyone on the volunteer staff just gave up huge chunks of their time to make something uniquely wonderful and as I turn those lights off and look at the glow of computer screens about to sleep for the night, I have the chance to know I was in charge of it all. Now, as the outgoing editor-in-chief, I have the unique opportunity to reflect on what I feel was a great time in my life.

The year has been far from easy, and as it comes to an end, I feel a little excited to have some time back in my life. Those moments when I glance up at the clock in the office, see it is midnight and remember I forgot to eat dinner won’t happen anymore. I’m not going to be greeted with a full email inbox for breakfast. And maybe, just maybe, my sleep schedule will return to something bordering on normal.

There are going to be sad parts too. I’m leaving behind a place that’s been a second home for my four years of college. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the random assortment of piled up memories spread out all over 2142 Vilas Hall. But I’ve had the opportunity to add a few of my own and really that’s all I can ask for.

The Daily Cardinal is an organization with an incredible legacy, and I feel confident saying I was able to add to it. It’s easy for me to think very individualistically about everything I’ve done here, but it’s also important to realize I was just a small blip in an organization whose gears were turning long before I got here and will be turning long after I leave. It’s been a place where I found out what I do when stress is high and problems keep popping up. I learned how to move past those tough moments, how to keep people calm even when I’m anything but. It taught me how much I love journalism and gave me a high bar for what I expect in a work environment. And now, the incoming management team, Editor-in-Chief Jim Dayton and Managing Editor Emily Gerber, are going to make sure this wonderful paper moves forward and enchants a new generation of staffers. I’m looking forward to following along as they push their big ideas.

As I prepare to turn the lights off for the last time of my tenure, I have to thank everyone inside and outside the Cardinal who has allowed me to pursue such a rewarding experience. The devoted staffers, my friends, roommates, the readers and, of course, Jonah all played a part in making this year happen. Thank you for sticking it out with me. It was, as always, a team effort.

Jack Casey

Do you have any advice for Jack as he graduates? What was your favorite piece from this year? As you go down memory lane, send your farewells and good wishes to Jack to

Taking the reins

For anyone unfamiliar with the workings of a college newspaper, dedicating 40-50 unpaid hours to put together a week’s worth of issues seems like a bizarre use of precious time.

I don’t expect anyone to understand it. I sure didn’t. I joined The Daily Cardinal in the spring semester of my freshman year and covered the men’s tennis team, having no idea it would be the start of my path to editor-in-chief. As I became more involved and got to know more people, I was hooked.

The hours I put in quickly accumulated. I never foresaw spending so much time on The Daily Cardinal, but the paper soon became my biggest source of pride in college. All those late nights were worth it, and I’d gladly do them over again (well, in most cases).

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Since 1892, this newspaper has been inextricably tied to the UW campus. That extensive history and our many talented alumni make me so grateful to be a part of The Daily Cardinal. I’m just the latest person in a chain that goes back 123 years: one that will hopefully continue for 123 more.

Such an impressive legacy would not be possible without a dedicated staff. In years past, our writers have reported on everything from Vietnam War protests to the campus reaction after Pearl Harbor. Now, whether it’s coverage of the Tony Robinson shooting or the Badgers’ run to the national championship, that same dedication remains evident.

But while we will always hold our history in high regard, we are constantly looking for new ways to innovate. Strengthening our social media and online presence is one of my top priorities for next year, so that we can better engage and develop a passionate audience. Never confuse tradition with stagnation.

The only way we can preserve our distinguished legacy is by taking steps to be at the forefront of the changing world of journalism. The field is not dead nor is it dying, but it is certainly transforming and will continue to do so in the years to come. It is my goal to ensure The Daily Cardinal keeps up with those changes.

Ultimately though, everything we do is meant for you, the reader. With an active readership, we can better serve you and put out the best product possible. Whether you like something we do or dislike it, let us know. We appreciate and welcome all feedback.

I want you to be as proud of this newspaper as I am. I want you to be a part of our legacy, whether you’re on our staff or just reading our stories. I want you to get excited about picking up The Daily Cardinal, and I can’t wait to put in all those hours to cultivate that enthusiasm.

—Jim Dayton

What do you want to see differently with Jim at the helm of The Daily Cardinal next year? Send all of your suggestions and recommendations for him to

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