When The Daily Cardinal was born out of a little office on Henry Mall in 1892, our first editor in chief rode his horse down State Street to pick up the 400 printed issues for distribution. The staff was no more than a handful of students, and no one ever dreamed that you could tweet out a breaking news alert to readers in seconds.
Now, we’re still equally as committed to journalistic excellence — but the race to stay at the front of our increasingly digitized community has quickly made its way to the core of our mission.
That’s why we’re making the decision to commit fully to being a digitally focused publication. The horizon for creating, sharing and consuming online content is broadening every day, and we recognize that there are important steps to take to continue to provide you complete campus coverage in that sphere.
We want to reach you where you are. Near the end of last semester, we launched a bot through Facebook Messenger that will deliver breaking news and other crucial campus updates straight to your phone, and our redesigned newsletter — which you can subscribe to in the upper right-hand corner of dailycardinal.com — will continue to bring our most important stories to your inbox. And to more thoroughly focus on our online presence, we’ll be pausing our twice-a-week print product and releasing our print edition just once each Thursday to gather the week’s best stories in one place.
We firmly believe that this is a transformative time for journalism. Now more than ever, the skills our staff will learn — about producing a video, about translating data into an interactive map, about marketing ourselves on social media — are both valuable to the news profession and to shaping an informed, issue-conscious citizenry. We are a real-life classroom for the journalists of tomorrow, and we remain committed to that educational principle even in the face of change.
There’s no doubt that The Daily Cardinal will continue to evolve. Newspapers across the country do not look the same as they once did, and while we honor our storied traditions, we’re also eager to conquer the future. News is interactive, it’s 24 hours, it’s in your hands with the speed of a tweet or a notification. If we’re going to be your campus resource, we need to be there too.
What won’t change is our commitment to engage with you. This semester, we’ll produce two special projects exploring in-depth issues that we feel often get pushed aside from daily coverage. We’ll share our annual Readers’ Choice survey with you so you can share your favorite places in Madison. And as always, we encourage you to interact with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Tell us when we’ve made mistakes, tell us whose stories we’re missing, and use our content as a jumping-off point for conversations you want to have about our campus and our world.
Our vision for The Daily Cardinal is this: Fair, fact-checked journalism that you need to know, on the platforms you engage with best, for the next 126 years. It may take different forms than anything our founders could have imagined, but it certainly will continue to provide a source of understanding and enrichment to those who read this paper and a source of good to those who wish to contribute to it.
Our sifting and winnowing won’t always look the same — but it will always have the same values at heart.