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.
The Daily Gazette is Swarthmore’s daily newspaper. The Gazette is sent out every work-day to more than 2,500 people, and has thousands of readers from across the world.
DAILY GAZETTE AWARDS
In March 2008, The Daily Gazette was named one of the top five online college news sites by the Associated Collegiate Press.
At the Associated Collegiate Press’ College Media Conference in November 2008, The Daily Gazette was award fifth-place Best in Show in the online category, beating out other papers including the University of North Carolina’s The Daily Tar Heel, the University of Pennsylvania’s The Daily Pennsylvanian and the University of Texas-Austin’s The Daily Texan.
The Daily Gazette was organized during Fall semester 1996 by Sam Schulhofer-Wohl ’98. The goal: to provide timely coverage of campus news and Garnet sports while maintaining complete independence from the administration and student government. Printing The Gazette every day would have been prohibitively expensive and time-consuming, so the Board of Editors elected to distribute the Gazette via e-mail. At first, there was no World Wide Web edition; however, back issues were available through the web.
The first Board of Editors consisted of Fred Bush ’98, Kate Doty ’00, Jennifer Klein ’98, David Lischer ’97, Eric Pakurar ’97, Sylvia Weedman ’97 and Sam Schulhofer-Wohl. Publication began during the first week of spring semester 1997. Midway through that semester, Rafi Dowty ’98 joined the staff as weatherman after successfully lobbying for the addition of weather reports. At the end of the semester The Gazette had 512 subscribers.
The milestones have flown by. In February 1998, the number of subscribers surpassed 1000 for the first time. By the beginning of Fall ’00 the number had risen to nearly 1500. In 2002-2003, The Gazette undertook such projects as installing Reading Racks in campus bathrooms and chalking the entire April Fool’s issue on the college sidewalks on a bitterly cold March 31st night. In 2003, Jeremy Schifeling ’03 became the first Gazette Editor to receive the Drew Pearson Prize for Journalism. The following year, Pei Pei Liu ’04 won the Pearson Prize.
As The Gazette began its tenth year of publication in August of 2005, the subscriber list topped 1900 for the first time. The content of The Gazette became more serious in nature—Arts Editor Micaela Baranello ’07 created a new fine-arts section, and Andrew Quinton ’08 worked alongside Managing Editor Alex Glick ’06 to cover every single home game.
In 2006, Alex Glick was awarded Swarthmore’s Pearson Prize. By 2007, subscriptions broke 2,300 and The Daily Gazette became the most circulated student publication at Swarthmore. Micaela Baranello was awarded the Pearson Prize, the fourth Gazette staffer so honored.
In Fall, 2007, Lauren Stokes ’09 and Miles Skorpen ’09 oversaw The Gazette’s transition to its first content management system, WordPress, adding comments and columns to the website. Nearly 6,000 unique visitors come to The Gazette site every week. Miles Skorpen ’09 was awarded the Pearson Prize, and the Gazette was named one of the five top news sites in the nation by the Associated Collegiate Press.
Throughout the Fall of 2008, Technology Director Dougal Sutherland ’11 spearheaded a development team to create a custom site for The Gazette using Django.
In the Fall of 2015, Isabel Knight ’16, Allison Hrabar ’16, and Annie Tventenstrand ’16 oversaw a website redesign, which included a cosmetic change and a move off the servers of SCCS and onto a paid hosting platform. This server change was largely made at the behest of SCCS and was due to vulnerabilities in the WordPress hosting platform. Sam Shih ’19 and Keton Kakkar ’19 worked to implement those changes.
Over the next two years, The Gazette increased its attention to long form journalism, publishing articles with topics ranging from Isabel Knight ’16’s investigation into the college’s Financial Aid policies to Natalie Flores ’19’s into Sugar Daddies and Sugar Dating.
The Gazette also worked on organizing journalism events, bringing New Yorker writer Ben Taub to campus in the Fall of 2016, debut author and doctoral student Adam Valen Levinson in the Fall of 2017, and the former editor of the Science Times, the weekly New York Times science section, David Corcoran in the Spring of 2018.
At the end of the 2017-2018 academic year, long-time Gazette writer/editor Matthew Chaffinch ’18 won the Drew Pearson Prize in Journalism.
Under the direction of then EIC Keton Kakkar ’19, The Daily Gazette merged with The Phoenix after the Spring of 2018. Keton Kakkar and Navdeep Maini ’19 handled the technical implementation of merging two WordPress sites, with the guidance and advice of ITS staff member Leslie Leach and SCCS member Jonah Langlieb ’20. The merger was complete by the time The Phoenix published its first issue of Fall 2018.