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We do this for you

Allan Joseph | Sunday, March 4, 2012

Every year on the last Monday before spring break, you read a column from the new Editor-in-Chief expressing how much he or she cares about you, the reader.

That column usually expresses the idea that the readers are really why we spend so many hours at The Observer sacrificing our social lives, sleep schedules and grades.

This is that column, and it’s going to say the same thing — because we mean it. In all honesty, what we do doesn’t matter if it wasn’t for you. We don’t stay up till 6:30 a.m. perfecting the last Irish Insider of the football season — a 32-page behemoth — because we enjoy it. Far from it, in fact. We do it because we know you appreciate the stories of each senior on the football team, from the senior captain to the hardworking walk-on. We don’t wait till midnight to get student-body-president election results (and then write an article on them) because we don’t have anything better to do. We do it because we think you should know what’s happening on campus.

We don’t spend weeks unraveling the effect of national policy on Notre Dame or exploring Fr. Jenkins’s relationship with the White House because that will help us get good grades. We do it because we feel no one deserves to understand Notre Dame’s unique role in the national conversation more than the students who live here every day.

So yes, we in the basement of South Dining Hall really do work for you, our readers. That’s why I’m so excited to serve as Editor-in-Chief for the next 12 months. I get to work with an extremely talented and dedicated staff who understands what we’re all about. Nothing could motivate me more.

While we love what we do, we also recognize there’s always room for improvement. We’re constantly looking for ways to bring you the news that matters to you in convenient ways. Over the last year, we’ve launched a mobile app for iPhone and Android and we’ve redesigned our website to be cleaner and more user-friendly.

But we won’t stop there. Over the next year, we’ll be making more changes to the way we do things. Some of them will be major and some will be little tweaks. Some will be highly visible to you and some you won’t ever see. All of those changes, however, will be made with one goal in mind: to bring you the best possible coverage we can bring you.

In return, I just ask one thing: let us know how we’re doing. If you love a story we publish, let us know. Email the writer, post it on Facebook or retweet it. If you didn’t like a story, let us know. Email me. If you’ve got suggestions to improve anything we do — really, anything at all — let us know. Pick up the phone and call, or just write us a letter. We thrive on your feedback, whether positive or negative.

There’s a reason my contact information will be listed on page 2 of this newspaper for the next 12 months. Don’t ever hesitate to contact me. Calls and emails are preferred, as I suspect carrier pigeons will have trouble finding our subterranean offices. I’d love to hear from you, and I’m going to love making The Observer better for you.