Alumni Newsletter

Mattingly: From the editor’s desk

Sam Ogozalek | Asst. News Editor

The fall 2016 staff of The Daily Orange.

At the last Sunday meeting of the semester, The Daily Orange staff stands in front of the red door, stretches along the sidewalk that leads up to the house and poses for a photo. It’s a simple, five-minute task, but one that is always bittersweet.

In the photo, there are staff members who will be returning — many in elevated roles. And there are those who will be leaving the house for good — some of them, your closest friends. No matter a staffer’s future, the group photo provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress we’ve made in 2016.

When the year began, The D.O. had a different general manager. The Syracuse men’s basketball team had reached five Final Fours and the women’s basketball team hadn’t reached any. The Campus Framework, a key Syracuse University initiative, had not been released. The D.O.’s web team had only existed for a semester.

Much is different now inside the walls of 744 Ostrom Ave. Yet, the legacy and tradition that makes The D.O. what it is remains strong and provides a sense of inspiration for everyone.

When we look back at the Spring 2016 semester, we’ll remember the way the entire staff came together to cover the Final Four. We’ll remember assistant sports editor Chris Libonati editing and posting more than 30 stories in one day while his peers were scattered across the country at the respective tournaments. We’ll remember the way alumni rallied to fund our sports travel fund, a reserve that had been left empty by the two teams’ successes.

There was the resignation of Pete Waack’s successor as general manager of the paper after only a few months on the job and the mid-semester search for a replacement. There was the announced revamp of The Daily Orange Alumni Association and the call for its Board of Directors. There was the completion of a more than $20,000 fundraising goal to help set The D.O. up for the future.

Through it all, The D.O. took home yet another Pacemaker, the Pulitzer Prize equivalent for student newspapers.

I was managing editor in Spring 2016. It’s fair to say, as the incoming editor in chief, there was a big brown shoe to fill.

During the summer, SU released a draft of the Campus Framework, a plan for the university’s infrastructure over the next 20 years. Part of the plan calls for the demolition of our cherished home at 744 Ostrom. We’ve spent the past six months meeting with officials and gathering as much information as possible. The D.O. Board of Directors is continuing to work on this at an administrative level and the future of 744 remains at the top of our agenda.

We’ve made significant steps in advertising this semester, with print advertising revenue up year-over-year for every month of papers. General Manager Mike Dooling, who took over in May, is in it for the long haul and The D.O. is in good hands.

The D.O.A.A. Board of Directors was formed and has begun important work of event planning and mentorship. Members of The D.O. Board and D.O.A.A. Board are working together to pursue the latter’s status as a separate 501(c)(3) organization.

On the editorial side of the paper, The D.O. garnered attention for our post-election front page, which was highly sought after by readers in the SU community. We sent a photographer to Standing Rock to photograph the protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Basketball season is in full swing and our annual season preview section was unprecedented for The D.O. in its online presentation. The web team took major steps forward and is growing with the addition of a second assistant video editor in the spring.

It was a busy 2016. I’m excited to see what the new year brings.

Justin Mattingly (’17) is the editor in chief and former managing editor of The Daily Orange. He serves as president of the Board of Directors. Please feel free to contact him at and on Twitter at @jmattingly306.


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