On Jan. 7, 1919, the editors of The Daily Princetonian announced, with “exceeding” regret, that their daily paper would run only three times a week. “War and influenza have played havoc with the PRINCETONIAN’s press force,” they lamented.
At present, those words ring with uncanny familiarity. Yet, whereas a century ago, the World War and pandemic brought the ‘Prince’ to a halt, our work today is more vital than ever before. As we prepare for an academic year unlike any other, we’re thrilled to announce a new vision for our publication.
In the coming semester, the ‘Prince’ will pivot to a digital-first publishing model. Today, we launch a redesigned website, which takes inspiration from our cherished history, while also rising to the challenges — and opportunities — of the 21st century.
In comparison to our former site, the new homepage features far more stories and showcases interactive content, including videos, podcasts, and graphics. We’ve replaced our Disqus comment section with Facebook comments, the platform we believe best balances open dialogue with civility.
With three columns of content, the new site further allows us to highlight our most timely and significant content. Look out for a new “Campus” page, which will compile events, schedules, menus, and other information for students both on campus and online.
We’ll publish our daily coverage, once constrained to print papers, across a wide range of media, including our daily newsletter, which you may subscribe to here. We’re also excited to announce inaugural social media and web projects teams, whose members will present and adapt our coverage to new forms. Between now and December, three print issues will complement our online efforts.
This past Saturday, nearly fifty ‘Prince’ staff members gathered online to discuss the transformations that lie ahead, as well as the values that ground our community. Through honest, heartfelt conversation, we arrived at the central principles we believe should guide our work. We have distilled those values, which are explained at length in our new About page, below.
First, we are a community. Our work is never done in isolation; from pitch to publication, we discuss and collaborate with one another. Only by working together can our reporting encompass the diverse talents and perspectives we hold. The ‘Prince’ community not only includes our writers, editors, designers, and producers, but also our readers, especially the Princeton students we serve.
Second, we must be transparent. To our staff, we promise to be inclusive in our decisions and clear in our convictions. To our readers, we pledge to report the truth, and we affirm that accuracy, independence, and moral courage are integral to that task.
Third, we must be diverse. We must render visible stories and perspectives that bridge every corner of campus. Our coverage spans many platforms, topics, and communities, and to do that work faithfully, our newsroom must represent the full range of experiences and perspectives in our community.
Fourth, we must be intentional in the stories we tell and the manner in which we do so. As a publication beholden to pursuing the truth, we promise to give our work the utmost thought and consideration, as we make our coverage open and accessible to all.
We recognize that, in many ways, the ‘Prince’ has come up short in upholding these values. But this moment of transformation brings with it the opportunity to humbly and resolutely continue this hard work.
As we set myriad new projects into motion, we invite your ideas, suggestions, and critiques. You’re welcome to contact the email addresses below with any feedback.
Since we left campus in March, we’ve never stopped publishing. That experience has taught us that the ‘Prince’ comprises more than a daily broadsheet. Though we won’t print daily this semester, we’ll keep telling the stories that shape Princeton, both from campus and afar.
Jonathan Ort is editor-in-chief, and Ivy Truong, Lizzie Parker, Benjamin Ball, and Cy Watsky are managing editors of The Daily Princetonian. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, respectively.