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Letter from the Editor

Jeff Sklar
By Jeff Sklar
Arizona Summer Wildcat
Monday August 25, 2003

A fresh start for the Wildcat

Ah, the new school year. Personally, I usually view the beginning of classes with a mixture of excitement and dread. The excitement comes from new possibilities, new people and new challenges. The dread comes from the oft-monotonous routine of work and classes, and the pinch on my free time.

This year has been different the excitement has almost completely drowned out the dread. I'm excited, not because of the promise of an especially interesting course load, but because of the new semester of the Wildcat.

For the next 16 weeks or so, our staff of nearly 100 dedicated editors, reporters, columnists, photographers, copy editors, designers and illustrators will spend thousands of man-hours trying to make your lives better. And improving your lives excites me.

This year, I think we're better equipped than ever to do just that.

Around the country, a number of newspapers are hiring reader advocates, people who work to ensure the newspaper is representing the needs of its readers. Here at the Wildcat, we're following that lead.

Jessica Lee, a columnist and former opinions editor, has taken the position of associate editor, a title that reflects her duties as a reader advocate, as well as her role as a mentor for new staff and one of my closest assistants.

Over the course of the semester, Jessica will be contacting groups across campus to set up meetings and ask you what you think about the quality and quantity of our coverage. She'll also field any comments or complaints you might have and can help you if you'd like us to cover something.

It is my hope that her presence will help us bridge the gap between our staff and our readers. After all, if we're not open and approachable, we're not doing our jobs.

We're also looking to better your lives in ways beyond the printed pages of the newspaper. Each day, about 18,000 of you log onto to check out our paper online. This year, we're looking to augment our print coverage with online coverage in more ways than ever.

Look online and you'll find more photos than in the print paper. As the semester goes on, we're hoping to bring you audio and video coverage to supplement some of our most important and most interesting stories. And you'll often find stories online that won't fit in the print paper.

So, even if you enjoy the print paper every day, check out the Wildcat Online also. You never know when you'll find something interesting there.

Plus, there's an extra crossword, which you can fill out right on your computer.

Hopefully, all of you will find something you enjoy in every issue of the Wildcat. Our staff is working to make sure you do. GoWild, our eight-page entertainment guide, is back on every Thursday. We're working to make it more relevant to your lives by including coverage and listings of lots of weekend events across campus and around Tucson.

LiveCulture is also back, every Wednesday and Friday. For those of you new to the Wildcat, LiveCulture is a lifestyle page that includes lighter, more fun features to counterbalance our news coverage, which is often necessarily dry.

But that's not to say our reporters won't work hard to make our coverage relevant to your lives. Our news stories should, and hopefully will, explain how decisions made in the Administration building, or the latest string of crimes on campus, relate to you.

As always, our sports staff will work to bring you thorough coverage of all campus sports. On Thursday, we'll publish our first-ever football season guide. It's 16 pages of features and previews of the season ahead. Expect a similar supplement when basketball season rolls around.

In our opinions section, you'll find informed commentary on topics that matter in your lives. Expect an increased focus on campus issues and events. The opinions section is also where you can make yourself heard. Send us a letter to the editor (guidelines are on this page) and maybe you'll see your own name in print.

Every day when you pick up the Wildcat, you're making an investment in our work. Not a monetary one like most college papers, the Wildcat is free but an investment nonetheless. You're investing time in reading our articles, perusing our photos or (hopefully) laughing at our comics.

Because you're investing in our work, we owe you our best effort. We owe you accurate, informative news and stories that affect your lives. We owe you the chance to respond to our coverage and the chance to speak your own mind in our pages. We owe you informed, incisive commentary that might impact the way you see the world.

The challenge is ours, but if we meet it, the rewards are yours. I'm excited to see you reap them.

Jeff Sklar is a journalism and political science senior and the editor-in-chief of the Wildcat. He can be reached at

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