In the heart of central campus, on the ground floor of 708 Commonwealth Avenue, a glass door with a posterboard sign separates the world from what’s inside. On that sign read the words, “The Daily Free Press, The Independent Student Newspaper At Boston University.”
Inside, editors of the student-run newspaper work tirelessly into the early hours of the morning — writing, editing and publishing stories for the Boston University community.
Oftentimes, lost folk wander in from the street, confused and perplexed that we, in fact, don’t sell cookies. “No, that’s Insomnia Cookies, just one floor above,” we tell them, “and if they have any spare, we’ll happily take some,” we let them know. It’s not uncommon for FreeP editors to work grueling hours – even up to 12 hours on a print night … at least the leftover cookies help.
Instead, what The Daily Free Press offers is truth in storytelling, a passion for impactful journalism and a space for students to grow as writers and editors.
This semester’s editorial board has taken those expectations and pushed them to a place far beyond what is expected from a group of students that work together ephemerally for just four months. Since January, The Daily Free Press has investigated claims of unjust treatment by BU’s Disability and Access Services Director Lorre Wolf and sexual harassment allegations leveled against College of Communication assistant professor Christophor Cavalieri. We wrote about a BU alum jetting off into space and covered the heroic efforts of women’s basketball head coach Melissa Graves as she led the team to another winning record in her first season all while being heavily pregnant.
What The Daily Free Press has accomplished this semester, and this year has been nothing short of excellent.
Our accomplishments in digital and physical print echo the work carried out behind the scenes. This semester alone, The Daily Free Press extended its reach on campus by establishing collaborations with student clubs and publishing work cross-platform to reach BU’s wider, international community. The FreeP also introduced a new sports podcast, pushed for more video content on our social media channels, scrapped the dreaded digital print and laid the foundations for an investigative team moving forward.
But it wasn’t easy — just ask the editors and writers who called this office home for a semester, working till 2 a.m. five days a week, fuelled only by the adrenaline of telling a good story.
Was the five hours of sleep per night and extra gray hairs worth it? For what we achieved with our work this semester, absolutely.
As mentioned in a BU Today article, I truly believe The Daily Free Press is the heartbeat of local journalism. After four print nights and over 300 edited articles, the 13 editors that piece together this paper do what they do because, at the end of the day, it’s what they love to do.
I speak on behalf of this semester’s editorial board when I say that none of this would’ve been possible without the support of those who are with us in spirit every night. From family members and significant others who worry about us working late hours to friends and housemates who excuse our absence as of late and the wider FreeP community whose donations and support keep this paper running semester after semester. To all of you, thank you.
As the semester winds down, the editorial board will soon close another chapter at The Daily Free Press — our chapter soon to be told on the pages of the blue history books confined to the back of the “basement” office. Some will graduate, others will study abroad and the rest will continue their journey at BU next year. I wish you all the best of luck in whatever you do. Summer beckons and it’s time to put down the pen and paper for a few weeks and focus on yourself — such is the rare privilege of a journalist.
But come September, the printing press will start churning out papers again, The Daily Free Press office will be filled with fresh, eager faces and stories from the BU community will once again be told.
It’s time to pass the baton. As editor-in-chief, I hope our editorial board has served you well this semester and told the stories you wanted to hear. This is the closing of one chapter and the opening of another for The Daily Free Press.
Enjoy a well-deserved break and a sun-kissed summer, for the future of journalism burns bright on Comm. Ave.