March 22, 2019 | 48° F

This is 150 years of Rutgers student news

Photo by Dimitri Rodriguez |

After a 14-hour day of intensive individual questioning, editors of the Targum’s 149th board caucused new members into the paper’s editorial staff — marking 150 years of student journalism at Rutgers. 

On Friday, through a 14-hour long interview process, The Daily Targum caucused in its 150th editorial board. 

Comprised of both newcomers and seasoned editors, the new board plans to tackle the transition from print to online publication by seamlessly integrating multimedia reporting into campus coverage. But the highest priority, according to newly appointed managing editor, Saige Francis, is carrying forward the century and a half long tradition of keeping the Rutgers community informed. 

“I have been part of The Daily Targum since my sophomore year and I have seen first hand the power and impact of student journalism. It was a no-brainer for me to continue for another board, especially in a managerial position,” Francis said. “I see so much potential in the Targum and I know with the team we have for the upcoming year, we will produce some amazing stories that have a real impact on the students and staff at Rutgers.”

Over the course of the last year, Board 149 covered a wide range of student movements from the fight to raise the minimum wage on campus to a community-wide effort to prevent ICE from deporting a Rutgers student. It kept the campus up to date during emergencies like the fire at The Yard @ College Avenue and the bomb scare at Alexander Library and closely followed the University’s efforts to keep tuition down, prevent sexual assault and draw the line between free speech and hate speech. 

Board 149’s award-winning journalism made national headlines and Francis said she is confident that the new editors will build on the accomplishments of their predecessors while also transitioning the paper into a new medium.

“We will not have a daily paper forever,” Francis said. “So it is essential that we have a solid and engaging social media to fall back on. Not just a media account that regurgitates our articles, but rather one that engages with the Rutgers community and sparks important conversations and debates among students.”

The news team — comprised of news editor Christian Zapata and associate editors Erica D’Costa and Ryan Stiesi — intends to move the desk forward by working with video editor Nicole Lagos to create a wider variety of video content. They plan on continuing the weekly “Targum Takeaway” segment, while also working on a series of original documentaries, broadcasts and investigations.

“I am excited to take The Daily Targum into its 150th year of publication,” said editor-in-chief Khaula Saad. “I know some people don’t always see the importance of university newspapers like the Targum but we’re here making history every day.”

Saad, who worked as the opinions editor last year, said she is ready to face the challenges that lie ahead, whatever they may be. 

“I know this coming year will be challenging,” she said. “But I also know that we will be helping students to become more aware of issues that concern them and that is worth the challenge."

The newly-caucused board also includes a new photo desk, led by Declan Intindola and Tom Boniello, a features desk led by Clarissa Gordon and a sports desk run by Rob Sanchez and Coby Green. Its design editor, Shreya Murali, will put together the page each day, and the copy editor, Cheyenne Terry, will ensure that everything that goes to print is fact checked and ready for publication. 

Stephen Weiss, formerly an associate news editor, is taking over the opinions desk and hopes to facilitate discourse by integrating politics and philosophy into his work. 

“During my time as opinions editor, I plan to approach the discussion of issues with a philosophical perspective and to deliberate about topics with the goal of reaching an opinion that mirrors the philosophical concept of truth by way of facts and reputable views,” Weiss said. “In the vein of Aristotle’s teachings, to get at real truth one must examine all possible arguments.” 

This is the first paper of the 150th editorial board’s tenure and its editors are optimistic about the future of student journalism at Rutgers. 

"The Targum is by students, for students," Zapata said. 

Kira Herzog

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