Columns, Letter from the Editor, Opinion

Letter from the Editor: some final words

The Fall 2023 semester was nothing short of eventful. The semester that has already slipped away into a moment in time, was a few months jam-packed with — simply put — history.  

Firstly though, the content that The Daily Free Press published would have been nothing without managing editors Stella Tannenbaum and Emilia Wisniewski. Stella and Emilia have been my rocks, and our daily time in the office was filled with silly moments, sips of iced coffees and Polar seltzers, singalongs at all hours of the night and, now, our new matching puffer jackets! With their experience in features and city news, they balanced me out in a way that no other conceivable pair could have done with such grace. Alongside their managing editor duties, they resurrected the investigative section, which produced some of my favorite — and some of the FreeP’s most viewed — pieces from the semester. I am excited about the introduction of the investigative section and that it will continue to grow, starting with the appointment of an investigative section editor, who in Spring 2024 will be current features business associate editor Mara Mellits.

ANDREW BURKE-STEVENSON/DFP PHOTOGRAPHER

We kicked off the semester with the Orientation Edition, including stories about BU appearances in movies, the expansion of Open Newbury and an editorial about the controversial 2023 Commencement speaker.

In what I thought at that time would be the defining moment of the semester, former editors-in-chief Molly Farrar (Fall 2022) and Lydia Evans (Spring 2023) came to us with an investigative piece about the Center for Antiracist Research, related to mass layoffs that occurred in September. Within days of publication, the story amassed over 130,000 views, an all-time high for any FreeP story, ever.

Less than two weeks later, BU announced the next president, Melissa Gilliam. We held a print edition in our hands within 48 hours of the announcement. It is a historic appointment for BU and a historic moment for The Daily Free Press. It was awesome.

As we wrapped up the final touches on the President Edition early Friday morning, our office’s ceiling leaked so badly that an entire wall had to be demolished and repaired from water damage, cutting us off from the office for two weeks during construction. We adapted to continue publishing during some of the more bizarre weeks of the semester. Fortunately, we made it back to our home base underneath Insomnia Cookies by our next print edition.

It doesn’t stop. The next week, I was diagnosed with a concussion. Feeling helpless, I watched stories come through the email, unable to look at a screen for enough time to edit a story. The FreeP carried on. 

One of my favorite traditions, the Hockey Edition, came during a busy October. Nothing beats holding a beautiful print all about hockey, making this former sports editor’s heart so happy. Even though I still couldn’t edit, the edition was stellar. 

We published so many amazing articles — and a total of seven generally monthly print editions — all while continuing to learn the balance of wellness and production, something I wanted to emphasize in particular when I took on this role. We balanced silliness with hard work, finding community during late nights that bled into early mornings.

I was honored with the opportunity to lead this publication, and so grateful to (I hope!) leave it better than I found it. I trust that incoming editor-in-chief and current photo co-editor, Andrew Burke-Stevenson, will continue to raise the standards and produce work that we can all be proud of, alongside incoming managing editors, current features co-editor Daisy Levine and city news associate editor Jenny Lambert.

In what will be half of my college experience by the time I graduate in August 2024, I will have been on the editorial board for three semesters, as sports co-editor in Fall 2022 and as layout and graphics editor in Spring 2023. Each semester, I have joined a new e-board team, a new dynamic in the office and a new love for independent student journalism. Not to have recency bias, but this e-board might be my favorite one.

KATE KOTLYAR/DFP PHOTOGRAPHER

Thank you Analise for publishing literally 150 lifestyle articles this semester with an unprecedented output of stories, each one original.

Thank you Sydney and Lindsay for meeting the goals we set before the semester, renewing a focus on in-depth pieces, while maintaining a positive relationship with BU administration.

Thank you Matthew and Adi for your hard work covering areas in Boston that have not in the past been covered.

Thank you Brett and Nathan for your passionate opinions each week in editorial meetings.

Thank you Andrew B-S and Molly for raising the standards of the photo section and decreasing photos of buildings.

Thank you Andrew DB for your early morning daily newsletters and Instagram posts, and for your introduction of new TikTok segments.

Thank you Austin and Annika for your hard work covering BU athletics and for your work on the Hockey Edition.

Thank you Daisy and Eden for your passion for true features and the writer’s voice and for amplifying human interest.

Thank you Clare and Lila for making the print editions happen. There is something so special about seeing the layout and graphics team work so hard with so much synergy. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, e-board for all your hard work this semester and for brightening our office up with your laughter and personalities, even when the office walls are leaking at 3 a.m. I cannot put into words how appreciative I am of every single one of you.

While there are always things we wish we had done differently, I could not be prouder of us. The tenacity of every single editor was remarkable to watch every night. They believed in their sections, believed in their content and believed in The Daily Free Press. 

And thank you! For sticking with us during this rollercoaster of a semester, subscribing to our newsletter, liking our Instagram posts and for reading our stories.

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