It’s recruiting season for clubs and pubs at Penn, and The Daily Pennsylvanian is looking for new reporters, columnists, photographers, analysts, and more. You know the drill – we’re excited to welcome enthusiastic DPers in the making, aiming to spend long production nights at 4015 Walnut Street with us and take on an unofficial journalism major. You can apply here by filling out our interest form, which closes this Friday at 11:59 p.m.
But before you click away, I’d also like to address the more casual browsers of the DP, who probably haven’t attended our interest meetings these past two days (there’s an Open House today! There’s still time!), or those who only check out our newsletter a handful of times a month.
The DP is an army that is over 300 students strong, diverse in background and aspirations but above all dedicated to keeping students, faculty, and all of West Philadelphia in the know. Many of us entered Penn with no journalism experience, and all of us love what we do.
But we are nothing without the engagement of our readers.
In an age of shrinking attention spans and hundreds of publications publishing hundreds of articles a day, I am asking you to read this one, and maybe a few more on the site if you’ve got the time. It’s not that my writing is the best you could possibly be reading — though I’d like to think my three years at the DP have improved it considerably. Rather, it’s that what we publish at the DP is earnest content by students, for students. Our content is timely, Penn-oriented, and meant to spark conversation in a way that big-name publications aren’t.
Reading your campus newspaper has myriad benefits: It is an excellent form of civic engagement, it introduces you to perspectives and insights outside your “Penn Bubble,” and — frankly — there’s just a ton of fascinating articles, videos, digital art, and podcasts to peruse.
The DP is a comprehensive publication for the whole Penn community with a whole lot of heart (I’m sorry, Penn Today – you just don’t cut it). We report news stories with breakneck speed without compromising the facts, and we provide insightful commentary on our athletics, academics, administration, and more. We offer advice, be it through arts and culture recommendations from 34th Street, or the recent Penn Bucket List and "Freshman 15" columns in our Opinion section. We make you laugh with Under the Button, Penn’s only intentionally satirical publication, and help you unwind with our crosswords.
None of what we publish is meant to be a one-way conversation: Though we lack a formal comment section on our articles, we want to spark discussion and debate around campus — whether in classrooms, at parties, or on social media.
So if you’ve ever disagreed with an opinion we’ve published — which, well, if you haven’t, you haven’t read enough Opinion columns yet — then great! We welcome respectful disagreement and debate; it’s our bread and butter. We want to hear from you, as we are currently looking for new columnists and always looking for guest columns.
But if you’re not feeling like penning a 650-800 word guest column, we encourage you to at least start a conversation about something you’ve read. Ask your best friend what their thoughts are about it, bring it up in a lecture hall, or repost it to Sidechat, Reddit, or what-have-you.
In a time where free speech is a flashpoint on college campuses and polarization remains on the rise, we are committed to representing the Penn community’s diverse views and fostering conversation wherever and whenever possible.
Penn has stronger discourse when we all get involved — I implore you to join the DP, and, in the meantime, share an article you like with someone you know. Even the smallest conversations have the potential to grow into something big.
CAROLINE MAGDOLEN is the opinion editor for the 139th Daily Pennsylvanian Board. She is a College and Engineering senior studying environmental science and systems engineering from New York City. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.