Letter from the editor: The significance of this week’s issue, thank you to our readers


Jeff Thomas

The Oakland Post’s Editor-in-Chief Jeff Thomas.

I’m thrilled to announce that this week’s edition of The Oakland Post is going to be the first 20-page issue our organization has been able to put out since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Being back at 20 pages is an accomplishment our staff is very excited about. Given this special occasion, it only seems right to take some time to update everyone on how our organization is doing and acknowledge those who helped us get to this point.

To our readers we never stopped showing up for you. The last 18 months for us have been about perseverance. In a time when a lot of college newspapers were ditching their print issue and releasing less content, The Post pulled together and kept putting out weekly editions. We strive to be a source of information on important issues, and not just another wing of OU’s public relations and marketing team. 

We’ve stayed committed to bringing the campus community news about what’s going on at this university, and that commitment has paid off. Our coverage of faculty contract negotiations took The Post to record highs in page views and social media engagement. The traffic to our website during the beginning of September was nothing short of remarkable. We had tens of thousands page views coming in on a daily basis and set a new single-day record high of more than 20,000 page views.

Following contract negotiations our engagement has stayed high, with our year-over-year analytics showing a 75% increase in viewership between Oct. 2020 and Oct. 2021. It’s been a huge morale boost knowing our readers care about and want real news coverage. We’re going to keep doing our best to inform the campus community.

Our staff has been through a lot — we’ve weathered the COVID-19 storm together. Like a lot of student orgs, The Post was devastated by the virus. With the pandemic separating us, the usual continuity between changing leadership became impossible. The people that came into their positions during the 2020-2021 school year had to learn on the fly. Working remotely totally disrupted the way our newsroom operated. We went from in-person everything to people working at home and sending in whatever they were working on. 

All of this is to say that my predecessors Michael Pearce and Emily Morris deserve a ton of credit for keeping the paper going last year. Despite being limited to less than ideal conditions — they did their jobs, while also taking care to ensure the future of the organization was in good hands. The majority of our current editorial staff (myself included) were recruited and hired by Michael and Emily. Though they can’t be here to celebrate with us now, their leadership undoubtedly played a role in The Post being able to get this point.

Additionally, I have to thank our Editorial Advisor Garry Gilbert and Business Advisor Don Ritenburgh for their guidance and commitment to helping our staff succeed. I couldn’t do what I do without their support. 

This year’s staff fields a wide variety of students from many different educational backgrounds. We love our work as journalists, but we’re still students first and our experiences in the classroom shapes the work we do. The Post is fortunate to receive support from so much of the College of Arts and Sciences. Much of our staff has benefitted from the outstanding faculty in the Department of Communication, Journalism, and Public Relations, as well as the English and Creative Writing departments and the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. 

On a personal note, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be staying on staff as Editor-in-Chief (EIC) for the duration of the school year. Being EIC has been one of the pleasures of my life. Seeing the staff continue to improve and succeed in their roles has been incredibly gratifying. I’m so proud of this group — their hard work is what drives The Post. I’m excited to see what else we can accomplish together. 20 pages is great, 24 would be even better. Either way, I’ll be here doing my best for the campus community and our readers.

Everybody take care. I look forward to speaking with you all again soon.


Jeff Thomas