This is The Tartan’s first issue as a century-old newspaper. It took a big birthday cake to fit all the candles.
The icing on our cake couldn’t have been sweeter last weekend; on Saturday we learned that The Tartan Online (www.thetartan.org) won a 2006 Associated Collegiate Press Online Pacemaker award.
My congratulations and thanks go to The Tartan’s online editor, Marshall Roch, who created the site just over a year ago during his first year at Carnegie Mellon. Everyone on staff deserves a round of applause, because the competition judges not only the website but all the content as well.
The Online Pacemaker Award is the ACP’s highest honor for online collegiate publications across the country. A total of eight other collegiate news websites received the honor this year.
Independent judges with expertise in design, journalism, and online media judged the entrants’ websites on the basis of design, ease of navigation, writing and editing, graphics, and interactivity.
What makes this award particularly special for The Tartan is that Carnegie Mellon students created and maintain The Tartan Online from code to content. While all college newspapers create their own content, it’s becoming rare for college newspapers to create and maintain their own websites. In fact, the websites of nearly 400 collegiate newspapers rest on websites owned by the MTV subsidiary College Publisher. Not only are we pleased The Tartan Online is a great success, but we are proud that it remains free from relying on outside entities.
Roch built The Tartan’s website from the ground up. His talent and dedication have been absolutely indispensable.
Not only has Roch created a fantastic and award-winning online home for The Tartan, but today marks the launch of The Tartan’s all-new ScheduleMan.org. ScheduleMan is an online tool that makes it faster and easier than ever for students to build their class schedules.
ScheduleMan.org lets users search for keywords in both course titles and descriptions. The site also makes it easy for users to switch classes and sections to find just the right schedule. ScheduleMan can also now export a semester’s class schedule to iCal, Google Calendar, and Outlook.
To make things sweeter, The Tartan’s forum editor, Marshall Roy, took home an award for writing one of the best student editorials in the country. Roy won third place in the Editorial category of the Story of the Year competition. Roy has moderated the opinon and editorials section of The Tartan with grace and ease and has brought new vibrance to the public forum we strive to provide.
These wonderful successes show the ingenuity and vigor with which today’s staff does its work, and they come at the perfect time. As we celebrate our anniversary, it is only right that we should be approaching our work with the same entrepreneurial sprit and dedication that gave rise to The Tartan 100 years ago.
I’ve thought a lot about what it means to be part of this long tradition; it’s still hard to grasp. I’ve always felt like we, the current staff, are the end of the line, but we are at the helm for a blink of an eye in the context of the paper’s history.
The staff of The Tartan feel great ownership in this newspaper, and rightly so — they continuously give of themselves to create each week’s newspaper. But knowing that the work of a hundred former staffs of The Tartan is responsible for giving us the chance we have now changes my perspective.
The work we do now is important because it’s good for our community today. It’s even more important because it’s our part in making sure that all students who come to Carnegie Mellon will have a newspaper that serves them.
Brad L. Yankiver, publisher of The Tartan, welcomes all responsible questions and comments, which may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.