Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Chances are you’re a Swattie, an ex-Swattie, maybe even a Swattie’s parent. But whether or not you’re in college, chances are you’ve got a vibrant intellectual life. You’ve got a rabid curiosity, an eagerness to go beyond to learn, and an appreciation for the fact that there will always be something you don’t know.
We’re long past the age when individuals could claim to know all there is to know, and more knowledge is pouring out of every corner of humanity each day. The globe has miraculously shrunk in recent decades, as technology–first telegraphs, then telephones, then satellites, all capped off by the Internet–has brought people and their diverse sets of knowledge closer together.
In our world, the exchange of information (not to mention the protection of information) is increasingly viewed as equally significant as the production of physical goods. Now, a CEO in Atlanta can plan with a manager in Taiwan and a creative team in San Francisco just as rapidly as a refugee in Turkey can talk to a relative in Syria while reading updates from Doha or Washington. These are instantaneous connections. The web of ideas is at our fingertips.
During this whole revolution, journalism has followed along swiftly. Whether or not it’s changed for the better is overshadowed by the fact that it’s changed for good. There’s a high probability that if you’re reading this, you’ll also check on The New York Times online at some point today, or perhaps The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, The Atlantic, Buzzfeed, even Reddit. The landscape for online journalism evolves every couple of months.
If you grew up listening to NPR in your car, maybe nowadays you also load your iPod full of This American Life before starting your day. If you ever read Newsweek magazine, you know they’ve banked their future on Internet sensation The Daily Beast. If you’re a politics junkie, you may or may not be in love with Politico, but you certainly know that Washington hasn’t been the same since it first appeared in 2007.
As you probably know, just this summer the founder of the largest web store in the universe bought the capital’s newspaper of record with his own personal fortune. The Qatari news organization Al Jazeera started a television channel targeting the same audience that tunes in to CNN and PBS. The list goes on.
At Swarthmore, we at The Daily Gazette have embraced this information revolution as we strive to be your portal to campus news and culture. Since we were founded in 1996 as an online-only newspaper, our stories have appeared in the emailboxes of all students, faculty, and staff, as well as many alumni and family members. With daily Facebook updates and tweets to our 1150+ Twitter followers, we have fully entered the social media sphere. Our paper’s goal is to be up there on your morning to-do list, right next to grabbing breakfast and deleting your Quarantine Summary.
If you’re new to our site, take a minute to click around. Soon you’ll find stories about clubs, teams, administrators, works of art, and much more, usually as articles but frequently as videos and even as podcasts. The fall semester has barely started, and the same goes for us. But our team is kicking into high gear to produce the great content Swatties have come to expect from us over the past nearly two decades.
If you were here last year, you remember “Brought to Light,” the series we published about the experiences of survivors of sexual assault here at Swarthmore–some of which had until then been shoved under the rug. You remember when we scooped the administration’s estimate on the cost of fossil fuel divestment ($200,000,000)–information that had evaded release until then. You remember reading both the strange and the serious in “The Swatter,” campus’s weekly public safety report, made widely accessible only at The DG. You remember that we’re the place to catch wide-ranging and insightful interviews with the various speakers, artists, and advocates who come to campus, as well as with top administration officials such as President Rebecca Chopp or big-time donor and Board of Managers Chair Gil Kemp ‘72.
Before long, the comments sections will heat to a boil with the sometimes-wise, sometimes-intoxicated (-intoxicating?) thoughts Swatties spew out throughout the day and late into the night. You may ask yourself what all the buzz is about, but the truth is that online, campus happenings enter seminar mode, where almost everyone has an opinion or something to say.
Let’s face it: Swatties are plugged in. The 21st century is here, and The DG is reporting for duty.
Andrew Karas ’15
PS: If you’ve ever considered writing for campus media, be sure to shoot us an email. We are ALWAYS excited to bring on new students, and training is on us. Whether you’re considering a career in journalism, or coming in with zero experience as a reporter, we promise a warm welcome.