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Letter from the Editor: Your story, our responsibility

Newsroom entrance straightened
The entrance to 48 University Pl., which houses The Daily Princetonian’s newsroom.
Jon Ort / The Daily Princetonian

Thirty years ago this Friday, more than 600 students and University personnel gathered to demand that Tiger Inn and Ivy Club — the last two all-male eating clubs — allow women to become members. On the steps of Robertson Hall, class president Erica Fox ’91 declared, “The male-only admissions policies create a situation which, by preventing us from being whole people, hurts all of us.”

That July, the New Jersey Supreme Court mandated that Princeton’s vaunted eating clubs end discrimination on the basis of sex — the culmination of more than 10 years of student activism.


Three decades later, we still examine where we are; we still raise questions; we still express dissent. In this collective effort, The Daily Princetonian has a critical role to play. As Princeton’s paper of record, we have the extraordinary honor of elevating your story.

In our 144th year of publication, we will seek to render visible a wide and diverse range of perspectives from our campus and community. Four core values — independence, accountability, accessibility, and representation — will guide us in this endeavor.

As an independent paper, we are beholden to telling the truth. The ‘Prince’ reports on, rather than to, the institutions that shape student life, such as Nassau Hall, the eating clubs, and the town of Princeton. We remain undaunted in investigating and uncovering facts that deserve disclosure.

In our pursuit of the truth, we are accountable to you, our reader. We owe you accurate, transparent, and fair coverage, whether of a sports game or an academic controversy, a dance performance or a student protest. If we fall short in this obligation, we pledge to acknowledge, rectify, and learn from our mistake.

To best serve our readers and the general public, we believe our content should be available to as wide an audience as possible. In every piece we publish, we aim to provide the context, analysis, and objective framing that distinguishes good journalism.

Finally, our work must represent our community. As journalists, documenting the lives of those around us is our highest responsibility. In that spirit, we will take particular heed of experiences, stories, and points of view that have been marginalized or neglected in the past.


This year, special issues and investigative projects will allow us to highlight a few of those perspectives. Furthermore, we will redouble our efforts to foster and sustain diversity within our newsroom.

Never before has independent, accountable, accessible, and representative journalism been so critical. In November, our country will hold presidential and Congressional elections of enormous consequence. In a time when self-professed experts spew disinformation and spurious publications spread rumor, newspapers, including our own, cannot succumb to cynicism and self-interest. Instead, we must pursue our work with renewed resolve and unfailing integrity.

To that end, we are prepared to challenge our own preconceived notions, to bolster campus discourse, to nurture the plurality of voices within our newsroom, and, above all, to listen to you. As a writer, an editor, and even a photographer, I am committed to examining every angle as we calibrate our focus.

I invite you to join us in this vital collaboration, 144 years in the making. In the coming weeks, we’ll be recruiting reporters and photographers, business strategists and videographers, designers and columnists to our staff. Whatever your passion, we have room for it here.

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Even if you don’t officially join the ‘Prince,’ your experiences can inform our work. If you feel we’ve missed an important story or want to share a lead with us, we ask that you contact our editors. Similarly, we encourage your feedback — and criticism — in our editorial pages and beyond.

At the University, where the annual rotation of students makes it difficult to appreciate, much less achieve, lasting change, the ‘Prince’ empowers us to chart this institution’s past, present, and future. In the coming year, we welcome the challenge and opportunity of telling that story.

Jonathan Ort is editor-in-chief of The Daily Princetonian. This letter represents the views of the editor-in-chief only; he can be reached at