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Changes ahead

Douglas Farmer | Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This issue marks the second issue in The Observer’s 45th year. Yes, The Observer is older than many of your parents. You would think by now we would be a polished, well-oiled operation.

We aren’t. We’re far from it. Though we have come a long way since that fateful first edition on Thursday, Nov. 3, 1966, we still have a long way to go.

As we strive to improve bit-by-bit, you’ll see some changes this year. You might notice a few in today’s paper. You will probably notice many more in Monday’s edition when we complete a transition from one layout software to another. Come January, perhaps there will be even a few more tweaks for you.

For each noticeable difference in print, big or small, there will be three or four online. In fact, as soon as Steve Jobs and Apple give us the go-ahead, all of you iPhone users can download The Observer’s mobile app, complete with restaurant reviews for local eateries. Ideally, Mr. Jobs will sign off on it Wednesday, possibly Thursday. Don’t worry Android users – I am one of you, and the Android version will be out within 7 to 10 days.

Before long, you may even find coupons to area restaurants embedded in the app. Stay tuned.

And for those few remaining dumb-phone users, including two of my three roommates, ndsmcobserver.com stands waiting for you. We’re beefing up our online-only content, our blog presence, our live chat frequency, use of videos and our photo galleries.

If none of that sparks your interest, hopefully those in this office can find a way to do so soon. After all, it really does come down to you, our readers.

Robert Sam Anson and Stephen M. Feldhaus founded The Observer in 1966-67 to fill the void left by “The Voice.” They did so because students wanted, if not needed, a constant source of campus information. Throughout the past 45 years as the campus’ only independent, student-run, daily newspaper, providing that information to the student body has remained our primary goal. We want to be the first and best source for all things Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s.

Or, as Anson and Feldhaus said in Vol. 1, Issue 1, “This is our purpose.”

These changes I have vaguely mentioned are simply our attempts at doing a better job of serving you.

If you have more ideas for us, let us know. Really, email me, or come to our open house Sunday afternoon from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

It’ll motivate us further, both because we’ll know you’re still reading, and because we need all the help we can get. It can get lonely down here in the bowels of South Dining Hall. This is only our 14th year down here, after all.


Douglas Farmer is a senior with a major in the Program of Liberal Studies and a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. He can be found in The Observer office in South Dining Hall at all times or reached at [email protected]
The views expressed in this Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.