The Daily Targum officially entered its 149th year on Friday, caucusing its new editorial board after 10 hours of discussion.
Its 148th editorial board covered the controversy surrounding Milo Yiannopoulos's visit, kept students informed during the Cook/Douglass power outages, tracked changes of Rutgers’ bus stops, the 2016 presidential elections and subsequent #SanctuaryCampus protests and became the first college newspaper to interview a sitting U.S. president after Editor-in-Chief Daniel Corey asked Barack Obama for an interview at the White House’s College Reporter Day.
Editor-in-Chief Alexandra DeMatos said she looks forward to the challenge of building on the previous board’s successes while also fixing the mistakes of the previous board. The School of Arts and Sciences junior first joined the paper in the fall of 2015 when she began training for the copy editor position.
“Being the editor-in-chief allows me to really get involved with everyone and to not only teach others what I know, but let others teach me,” she said. “I also love the Targum because when I (first) transferred to Rutgers it was really where I found my place at the University.”
The Targum is unique compared to other news organizations around the Rutgers and New Brunswick areas because while it is entirely student-run, it still holds itself to the same standards as more prominent papers, said News Editor Kira Herzog.
The School of Arts and Sciences sophomore hopes to help her fellow students understand the complexities behind how the University operates better, as well as inform them of the events and situations that occur on Rutgers’ campuses.
Herzog joined the paper in 2016, and briefly became a correspondent before taking on the mantle of news editor.
“As news editor, I have the opportunity to work on the front lines while also helping shape the trajectory of the paper as a whole,” Herzog said. “News is an incredibly dynamic and quick-paced desk, which means coming into work every day is anything but mundane. I am constantly learning and growing both as a journalist and as a member of the larger Rutgers community. I don’t think I could ask for much more out of a job.”
New Opinions Editor Khaula Saad believes the Targum’s advantage comes from its being entirely tailored toward other students. As a former columnist, she has already experienced the challenges facing contributors to the opinions desk.
The fact that more and more people are keeping up with current events and are willing to share their thoughts on everything happening in the world right now helps her see different views first-hand, the School of Arts and Sciences sophomore said.
“I want to motivate more students to share their thoughts and feelings,” she said. “I want to make the opinions section feel more inclusive (and) I want to make (the desk) as dynamic as it can be.”
Her goal is to include and showcase a greater range of ideas within the section, she said. Part of the benefit of having students run the Targum is that its editors know what is happening on campus and can report to their peers.
“I love writing and editing, so this isn’t just a job to me,” Saad said. “This is me doing what I love. I take a lot of pride in my work and I’m going to make the ops section of the paper show that … I get to work with people with different viewpoints who all share the common interest of getting their voice out there and I really like that.”
The 149th editorial board also includes Managing Editor Katherine Moretti, Sports Editor Jon Spilletti and Associate Sports Editor Griffin Whitmer, Photo Editor Jeffrey Gomez and Associate Photo Editor Dimitri Rodriguez, Features Editor Brittany Gibson, Video Editor Nicole Lagos and Associate Video Editor Jilleunice Buhain, Associate News Editor Chloe Dopico, Associate Copy Editor Saige Francis and inaugural Science Editor Madhuri Bhupathiraju.
Waylen Glass and Stephen Weiss are training for the positions of design editor and associate news editor, respectively.
Students should continue reading the Targum to stay up-to-date on what is happening within the University, Herzog said, just like they would read any other news source. Her main focus next year will be on the content produced by the paper.
Her goal is to ensure that every article published is something every member of the organization can be proud of.
“I love journalism and the impact that it can have,” DeMatos said. “I love being in the newsroom when we break a story and rush to get it out as soon as possible. I love seeing the creation of both a print paper and our online presence from every angle. It is an incredible feeling to be able to put out news every day, and being (editor-in-chief) will allow me to help push the Targum further and really strengthen our online presence.”
Nikhilesh De is a correspondent with The Daily Targum. He is a School of Arts and Sciences senior. Follow him on Twitter @nikhileshde for more.