As The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. launches its 138th year of publication, its new board of student editors and managers is leading the new year with an eye toward revamping the DP, Inc.’s digital platforms and prioritizing diversity, inclusion, and transparency within its staff and audience relations. The board consists of student leaders who oversee the editorial and business operations for three publications: The Daily Pennsylvanian, 34th Street Magazine, and Under the Button.
The DP, Inc. welcomes its first diversity & inclusion coordinators, College junior Kamille Houston and College and Wharton sophomore Angela Shen.
“It’s time for us to take a critical look inwards and reflect upon our own biases, limitations, and areas for improvement,” Shen said. “We need to take responsibility for how our choice in coverage shapes the perspectives of the entire Penn audience on important issues like race and equity.”
Houston and Shen look forward to expanding the DP Fellows program, which helps students from historically marginalized groups gain journalistic experience with the support of a $4,000 grant and collaboration with DP students and alumni. The coordinators will also host workshops, panels, and trainings for all DP staffers to ensure diversity is at the forefront of every aspect of the organization.
President and College junior Alessandra Pintado-Urbanc will lead the 138th board through the DP, Inc.’s third year during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the support of the new diversity & inclusion coordinators, she will focus on building strong relationships within the Penn community and ensuring coverage is timely and accurate. Along with the Executive Editor and Business Manager, Pintado-Urbanc will work closely with the company's four professional staff members
Executive Editor and College junior Pia Singh will take charge of the DP, Inc.'s Editorial Board, which consists of 18 student board members leading editorial, multimedia, design, and social media divisions. Singh, a former news editor for the DP, is encouraging innovative content formats through strategic collaboration between the company's editorial and business wings — especially with technology and analytics. Singh also hopes to strengthen the company's internal work culture and its relationship with readers, particularly with marginalized student groups on campus and with the University administration.
“In order to be effective reporters and storytellers, it's imperative for the DP to link our content with our delivery formats," Singh said. "This means teaching student journalists how content is not only created, but also how it evolves through multiple stages of editing, proofreading, designing, and distributing across multiple digital and print platforms.”
As people have become increasingly dependent on virtual platforms due to the pandemic, the new board seeks to improve its social media and digital products, including the DP+ mobile app and its five newsletters. The DP, Inc. technology department recently rolled out a push notification feature for the DP+ app on iOS and Android, which alerts readers on top and breaking stories from the DP, 34th Street, and UTB.
Singh will be assisted by the DP Inc.’s three editors-in-chief: DP EIC and College junior Jonah Charlton, 34th Street EIC and College junior Emily White, UTB Co-EICs Grace Ginsburg, a College senior, and College junior Megan Striff-Cave.
“I’m really looking forward to working with the DP team of editors, reporters, designers, and photographers to create a product that best serves our readership,” Charlton said. “This has already happened, as we have rebranded our daily newsletter, The Daily Pennsylvanian, to be more reader-friendly by adding five newsletter anchors who walk readers through the day’s news.”
Both the DP and 34th Street will continue to print once a week on Thursdays and Tuesdays, respectively, with hopes to transform 34th Street into a glossy, monthly magazine by fall 2022.
“A monthly magazine puts quality over quantity and gives all our staff new opportunities for growth and experimentation,” White said. “Staff can pursue longer-term projects, like creative photoshoots from multimedia or long-form writing from our beats, while creating a more thematically coherent print product.”
College junior Greg Ferrey will lead the DP, Inc. Business Board, which consists of four student leaders managing the technology, marketing, analytics, and product teams. Formerly the DP, Inc.’s marketing manager, Ferrey will work closely with professional staff and with departments across all three publications to increase the DP, Inc.’s presence on campus. He also looks forward to working with the new diversity & inclusion coordinators to ensure the DP is an inclusive space for any Penn student who wishes to join.