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EDITORIAL: New board, same commitment to Rutgers community

As the 154th editorial board takes over, we express our plans to continue and build upon The Daily Targum's legacy

Commitment to Rutgers remains central to the 154th editorial board of The Daily Targum.  – Photo by Tori Yeasky

This is the first editorial by The Daily Targum’s 154th editorial board. It seems appropriate for us to honor 153, and to lay out what we expect to do in our new roles and the direction in which we want to take the Targum. 

The 153rd board grappled with a lot of challenges, from a virtual start to their time and the persistent challenges of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to the return of in-person learning and life at Rutgers.

Their time was marked by adversity. Despite these obstacles, though, they were able to manage the Targum with grace, and they left a lasting impact that we can only hope to live up to.

While COVID-19 dominated news coverage, the Targum did not allow that to obscure other interests that were more localized to the Rutgers community.

Former Editor-in-Chief Hayley Slusser and former Managing Editor Madison McGay, led an investigative report that disclosed the shady financial decisions made by the University that left students struggling. This type of report centered Rutgers’ students and their needs in the context of the ongoing pandemic.

This localized attention with a special focus on students is something we look forward to continuing. The 154th Board seeks to remain committed to Rutgers students and how issues impact them directly. While we intend to cover anything that is newsworthy, we are also steadfast in our belief that our jobs are to make the lives of Rutgers' students better. 

Based on this aspiration, we hope to increase the engagement of the Rutgers community with the Targum. The 153rd board was the first to have an editor specifically for social media — we look forward to having that role continued, and we look forward to expanding our online presence with our new and the Targum’s first, graphic design editor.  

As the Targum will remain — at least for the foreseeable future — as a fully digital publication, we aim to expand our presence online and to put out content that is tailored to the digital environment. The digital landscape can indeed allow for better engagement and create more interest. 

We hope that the combined efforts of the social media, graphic design, video and photography desks will sustain our presence online and make it better. While the future of COVID-19 remains entirely uncertain, we feel lucky to be mostly back in person, which gives us the ability to capture content that is happening in real-time. The combination of continued dedication to digital content with in-person events, we hope, will attract greater interest in the Targum. 

While sometimes it is hard for college students to be committed to following the news, we will be dedicating our efforts to piquing students’ interest through multimedia platforms. We also expect that these platforms will allow us to communicate more directly with students — we will see what they care about, pay attention to what they are saying and we will cover it. 

The 154th board fundamentally believes in collaboration — between the Targum itself and Rutgers’ students, but also between the various desks. We believe that the best content is inherently interdisciplinary, and every desk is made better when we work together.

This culture of collaboration centers the Rutgers community and what is happening on the ground as different desks cover different beats — together they present the University as diverse. To best cover this variety, it is vital for us to be even more synergetic as a board. 

The 153rd board accomplished these things during their term. The board led the Targum in a fair, unbiased and strong way from which we find inspiration. We intend to live up to their legacy. But, perhaps even more importantly, we intend to live up to the legacy of all the boards that have come before us.

We recognize the place of history into which we are stepping: The Targum is the second-oldest collegiate newspaper in the country, founded in 1869. The thread that has connected all of the boards is the commitment to the Rutgers community and the students. We will continue that legacy.

We are grateful for the 153rd board, and we look forward to continuing their work and leading the Targum into the future.

The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 154th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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