From the Editors
With our unique position at MIT, we are intensely mindful of The Tech's responsibility to serve our readers accountably and to keep striving to improve our coverage. Next semester, Christine R. Fry '05 will replace Nathan Collins G as editor in chief, but our efforts to deliver a high-quality newspaper will continue.
Here is an update on some improvements we have undertaken this semester and are planning for next semester.
- We replaced our "World & Nation" news wire, previously from the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post, with the New York Times News Service, which includes stories from The Boston Globe. We plan to bring you better local coverage and selections from The Times' Tuesday "Science Times" section.
- Backing up our longstanding prohibition on news staff involvement in the opinion section, we removed the news and features editors from the editorial board, the group that writes The Tech's editorials, in order to remove even the possibility of conflict between editors' roles in opinion and news coverage on the paper.
- We pursued aggressive and repeated followup stories, on issues such as orientation planning, the reintroduction of crowding, and the government's SEVIS international student registration system, in order to keep our reader's questions in the driver's seat in campus debate.
- We published an address for information about errors that call for correction, email@example.com, and we conscientiously followed up on each report. Next semester:
- We have asked a fixture in the MIT community, John A. Hawkinson, to be our independent reader ombudsman. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and will write an unedited column in this paper, serving as our liaison with The Tech's readership. We expect him to be critical and fair and to call us to account when we screw up. Please do not hesitate to contact him about the paper.
- We have appointed an executive editor with responsibilities including staff recruitment, and will step up efforts to attract new staff, especially graduate students. A critical shortage of reporters continues to be the major limitation on our news and features coverage.
- We will continue this year's reintroduced Features Section. The goal is to capture the tenor of what it is actually like to be an MIT student on an everyday basis and to diversify our coverage.
- We are pursuing ways to improve our accessibility and responsiveness to the MIT community, including "talk back to The Tech" seminars, where readers are invited to discuss and ask questions about the previous month of the paper with the editors.
The Tech is just a student group pledged to find out the truth and report it back to our readers. The people who work on it, few as we are, live down the hall from you and work on your behalf. We're proud of our reporting this past semester - and proud of our top-ranked status among American college newspapers, judged by the Associated Collegiate Press - but our real goal is to earn your respect and deliver quality news, and we will continue working toward those ends. Let us know how we can help.
P.S. Did we mention we're desperate for reporters and features writers? Join us next year or write for our monthly summer issues.