This off-season was one of unexpected but exciting changes at top of this newspaper’s masthead. After seven years at the helm of The Chautauquan Daily, Matt Ewalt has joined the Institution’s Department of Education and Youth Services, and I have the great privilege to succeed him as both editor here and as director of communications for Chautauqua.
This is not an easy job, but I am fortunate to take over an operation that has been under Matt’s expert care and leadership for so long, and thankful to him for the opportunity to serve as his No. 2 for the past five years. I’m also especially grateful to the backbone of the Daily, Ray Downey, now in his 16th season as production manager, for having my back.
What makes this summer particularly exciting for me is welcoming Sara Toth aboard as a full-time member of the Chautauqua Institution team, and the opportunity to partner with her in leading the Daily newsroom. Sara, like me, is an alum of the Daily internship experience, having served for three summers as our theater and then literary arts reporter. She spent the past four years as a reporter for newspapers within the Baltimore Sun Media Group, experience that makes her a tremendous resource for the young journalists in this newsroom, particularly the reporters.
Sara and I are two examples of this internship program’s success. Just as Chautauqua’s Schools of Fine and Performing Arts hone the talents of tomorrow’s renowned instrumentalists, singers, actors, artists and dancers, the Daily provides an intensive 11-week experience that gives 25 or so college-aged communicators the opportunity to deeply explore their chosen path. Our colleagues over these past seven years have gone on to do great things at newspapers and other media organizations, arts and civic organizations, book publishers, colleges and universities, and many still cite Chautauqua as essential to their training.
The Daily staff this year is a conglomeration of journalism, photojournalism, visual communication, English, professional writing, anthropology, environmental studies and political science students from both coasts and everywhere in between, with a host of dedicated Chautauqua community members as colleagues and resources. I’m excited to see what we can do over these 55 issues. I hope you’ll come along.
Thanks for reading.