Letter from the editor: Happy holidays, thank you for an incredible semester

The+Oakland+Posts+Editor-in-Chief+Jeff+Thomas.

Ayman Ishimwe

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

Jeff Thomas, Editor-in-Chief

This Wednesday, we’ll release our final fall issue. As we come down the homestretch of what’s been a historic semester for the campus community and The Post, I’m dropping in with this letter to express my gratitude for our success the past few months and to update our readers on what’s happening with the newspaper.

First and foremost I have to thank our readers. The engagement that we’ve seen from our audience this semester has been nothing short of remarkable. 

Our coverage of faculty contract negotiations in late August and early September brought historic highs in engagement, with a new high-water mark of over 20,000 page views in a single day being set. We’re proud to report that momentum in readership from that period carried over throughout the fall.

The Post’s website has received well over 200,000 page views since the beginning of the semester. In all likelihood, by the official end of the fall term, we will surpass the entire year of 2020 in total number of page views in just the past three months. 

In October, our page views increased year-over-year by approximately 75%. During November, our page views more than doubled the total number of page views from Nov. 2020, with analytics showing an increase of approximately 125%.

We are incredibly grateful to have experienced such strong and sustained readership. All of the emails, comments and letters to the editor are indicators that we’re doing our job engaging the campus community. So thank you readers, and stay with us because there’s sure to be plenty of news during the winter semester.

Next I want to express how thankful I am for the incredible team of people that we have on staff at The Post for the 2021-2022 school year. I am constantly in awe of the talent we have in this group. It’s because of their hard work that all of this is possible.

I have to mention our Content Editor Lauren Reid and Managing Editor Bridget Janis. They’re my right-hand people helping me oversee everything at The Post. They’re fabulous individuals, and just outstanding leaders and community builders. 

Perhaps our biggest accomplishment of the semester was getting our print issue back up to 20 pages, something we hadn’t been able to do since before COVID-19. Bridget and Lauren were instrumental in the push for 20 pages. 

It was their vision and persistence that really made me see how ready we were to accomplish that goal. I can’t thank them enough for all that they do. Everyone on our staff is better off because they get to work with them. 

I look forward to getting back to 24 pages in the winter. Heading into the next semester, we’ve got 35 people on staff. The people that have been around doing the work are better at their jobs than they’ve ever been, and our recent hires are talented and hungry to get to work. I’m excited to see what we’ll be able to accomplish together before the end of the school year.

For me personally this semester was life changing. In my first letter from the editor last May, I wrote about how fortunate I felt to be leading The Post as the community returned to campus. At the time I knew I was excited, but of course the reality of the last few months has exceeded any reasonable expectation.

The love and support that I’ve received not just from within our organization, but from other students, faculty and on-campus staff has been tremendous. It’s something that will stick with me for the rest of my life.

Of course, it takes a community to put together and publish a newspaper. I’m thankful to be a part of this community. You all inspire me to do my best work. So again, thank you.

I’m Jeff Thomas, editor-in-chief of The Oakland Post. Thanks for taking the time to read this final letter of the semester. I wish you all a happy holiday season with your friends and family. I’ll see you guys in January.