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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Thursday, June 13, 2024

Letter from the Editor in Chief: Welcome back to the Hill

Dear Tufts community,

Welcome back to Medford/Somerville, and welcome back to your beloved source of campus and local news, the Daily. My name is Julia Shannon-Grillo, and as the Daily’s 87th editor in chief, it is my duty to commemorate the new semester by sharing what I hope the Daily can provide for you this spring. I’ll also do my best to impart a few bits of wisdom here and there — please take them with a grain of salt. Next week, the managing board will share a more detailed description of the Daily’s production process and a content overview for the semester. For now, lend me your ears (and your eyes).

If you’re reading this, thank you. In order to facilitate vibrant community discussion, the Daily needs you and so does Tufts. Your kind showing of support as Tufts faced a surge of bomb threats at the end of last semester gave me hope for the revitalization of local reporting. During that time, the Daily was uniquely positioned to provide its audience with information critical to making educated decisions about travel plans, living situations and academic schedules. You all recognized that, tuned in, and in doing so, enabled the Daily to do its job of informing the public. As local journalism falters and public outcry tends to remain silent until stories hit the national news, the Daily aims to contribute meaningfully beyond the boundaries of Tufts.

The Daily’s purpose is twofold: to inform the Tufts community and to supplement professional learning for students who are interested in pursuing journalism as a career. Within that first pillar, we want to ease engagement between Tufts and its host cities by reporting on a diverse array of local activity.

A student can view college as their final years of freedom before being bound by a corporate workforce, they can view college as practice for the ‘real world’ or they can view college as a place to apply what they’re learning to the communities in which they live. Whether you have just one semester or 3 ½ years left, treat your time at Tufts as the latter. Tufts is not unique in its separation from its host communities, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Last semester, the Daily placed a renewed focus on covering Medford and Somerville. Today, I am making the promise that those efforts will continue this spring, but we need your help to do it.

If you’re not sure where to engage, start with the Daily. Submit an op-ed about something that matters to you, respond to our coverage with a Letter to the Editor (email or ask the Daily to investigate something by sending us an anonymous tip. Our communities thrive and our towns are stronger when we — the students who make up a significant percentage of those towns — participate in civic discussions. Are you an avid supporter or opponent of a city council ordinance that’s coming down the pike? Tell us! Did we miss a critical perspective in our feature of a contentious issue? Tell us! Are you seriously annoyed by Somerville’s parking permit process? Tell us! (I’ll admit, that one’s personal.)

News can feel negative because so much of the news that gains notoriety is. But I hope that immersing yourself in local journalism, even for a few minutes each day, can reduce the emotional burden of knowledge. There is so much good that happens among our communities, and there are so many opportunities for students to participate. That participation is often self-serving, aiding the development of an identity that stays with you when you leave the Hill.

In return for your attention, the Daily commits to relevant coverage — an idea that requires a more diverse set of perspectives than we’ve historically held. Whether you’re a student, professor, alum, parent or resident of a host community, we need your voice in order to produce a newspaper that is truly valuable to you. I hope you’ll consider joining us as staff or as an invested audience member, and I look forward to forging a stronger connection with you all in the months ahead.

Pax et Lux,

Julia Shannon-Grillo

Editor in Chief, Spring 2023