University newspapers have a special mission. While all newspapers aspire to disseminate reliable information and share different perspectives, this mission becomes all the more real at universities. At its core, Stanford is both a birthplace of new information and a marketplace of ideas, and the newspaper plays a vital role in this academic enterprise.
Of course, The Stanford Daily is not perfect. We can always work to make our reporting more engaging, our opinions and editorials more thoughtful, our multimedia more enticing. But at its best, The Daily offers a common point of exchange for our intellectual community: In each morning’s paper, we learn of others’ research breakthroughs, see students’ artistic achievements and consider new opinions and perspectives. The meat of our reporting — the information that we share — is the stuff that makes Stanford so incredible.
Upon arriving on campus, I had little idea that I would ever take interest in journalism. A budding history major, I knew I liked to read and write, and I whimsically decided to try a new venue for my writing. But The Daily proved addicting, first for giving me a unique view into Stanford’s accomplishments. The title “Daily writer” acted as a passport to fascinating conversations, which I relished sharing through my articles.
More importantly though, The Daily provided an incredible community of thoughtful and engaged companions, all with a passion for writing and the life of this university. Now, as managing editor for the Opinions section, I facilitate this intellectual community, which we share in each column, op-ed and editorial we publish.
Stanford has often reminded us of the importance of “dialogue,” and the opinions pages of this newspaper show that dialogue in action. Our writers often disagree, but that is by design; they share a commitment to writing and reading, expressing their ideas in the most persuasive way while remaining open to the perspectives of others. As buyers and sellers in our marketplace of ideas, they remind us what an academic community is all about.
But our readers also partake in this project. Whether by sharing their news with us or reading and responding to our writing, you give this newspaper its purpose. Thank you for your trust, and for making our work so meaningful.
Michael Gioia is currently the managing editor of Opinions at The Daily; he has also previously led the News division. He is from Plano, Texas and studies history and modern languages at Stanford. When Michael is not working for The Daily, he can generally be found reading or drinking coffee. Contact Michael at mgioia2 ‘at’ stanford.edu.
This piece is part of the Vol. 250 Editorial Board’s “Why The Daily matters” series. Read the rest of the editorials here.