Letter from the Editor | Back to the future with TPN

By Jon Moss, Editor-in-Chief

Welcome back to campus! Or, depending on where you’re reading this, welcome back to the same desk chair you’ve been sitting in since March.

This academic year will definitely be one for the books, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across our country. As of the beginning of August, Pitt officials would not commit to a specific date, or even an estimate, about when classes could move from online only to in person. I guess they really are testing just how “Flex”-ible we are here at Pitt. We are truly living through history, as it’s being made around us.

We’ve prepared this Welcome Back guide to help get you acclimated to a changing campus. Our amazing news writers have compiled numerous articles to summarize what a Pitt education will look like this fall. Our wonderful columnists have written numerous advice columns, offering their hard-won wisdom about different ways to approach your time here at Pitt and resources you may find useful. The culture desk has some suggestions on music to try out and some cooking tips. And our sports writers have all the information you need on Pitt Athletics, so you’ll be ready for the upcoming season.

Beyond this 36-page special edition, we hope you will stay tuned to TPN through the semester and this tumultuous time for the latest news about Pitt and the Oakland community. We have teams of student journalists focused on covering nearly every part of campus and how it is changing during the pandemic and this time of social upheaval. The best way to keep in touch is to subscribe to our email newsletter at pittnews.com/newsletter — you’ll know about the news as soon as we do, which is even sometimes how administrators hear of it. You can also follow us on Twitter or Instagram at @ThePittNews and like us on Facebook.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also led to changes at TPN. This academic year, we will reduce our print frequency to only one physical newspaper per week, released Wednesdays. We believe that this is the correct move right now both from a financial perspective, due to industrywide advertising declines, and also from a journalist’s point of view. We must take a hard look at how people are consuming news these days and how we can best inform the community. If COVID-19 had hit in 1910, our readers would have no way to stay part of the Pitt community. But we looked at the period from March to August — during which we ceased our print edition — and saw record-high amounts of web traffic, story ideas from readers and an insatiable reader appetite for information. Thus, we are opting to publish email newsletters on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with a magazine-esque newspaper edition on Wednesdays.

As readers and new members of the Pitt community, we want to hear from you. Feel free to reach out with story ideas, things you think we should be covering, Op-Eds, responses to articles, what you think of our new publishing format or any questions about our 110-year-old newspaper. Nothing is too big or too small.

If you are interested in helping to tell the story of the Pitt community, we would be honored to have you join our staff. We are always looking for our next team of editors, reporters, photographers, videographers and copy editors to work at our award-winning newspaper. No prior experience is necessary to join — I joined my first year barely knowing how to format a quote properly, and now the chancellor knows me by name. If I can do it, so can you — if you’re interested in joining our team, you can apply at pittnews.com/application.

I hope you were able to safely move into Oakland and are set for the semester. Remember to keep in touch with us for updates throughout the semester.

All my best,

Jon Moss


[email protected]