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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

During my two years at the Alligator, I've heard all the criticism UF students and Gainesville residents have to offer.

I've been told we're too indie, incestuous, pretentious and more.

Well, I'm finally in a position to fix that.

For the past few weeks, the Alligator staff and I have been brainstorming about how to improve the quality of this news organization.

We've holed ourselves up in the newsroom through the rain and shine to come up with a game plan to rival that of the Gators football team.

In the past, our staff has been bogged down by the day-to-day grind of daily news and lost sight of the quality of reporting that the Alligator was once known for. Although the Alligator still ranks No. 2 in the U.S. for the most Hearst Awards (think of it as the Pulitzer Prize of college journalism), we can't let it go to our heads.

This semester, we're pledging to turn this news organization around.

For starters, we're switching up our reporting model.

From this point on, all breaking news will be posted on Alligator.org, and the newspaper stories based on those events will be more analytical and in-depth.

The Avenue, our Thursday entertainment section, will be getting a content makeover.

Events and reviews will be more diversified to reflect varied tastes.

We know the Avenue has been pretty hipster and indie in the past. By branching out, we'll better serve everyone's entertainment needs, regardless of whether you frequent The Atlantic or Rue Bar.

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In response to those groups clamoring for coverage, the Alligator will finally respond.

While we're hard-pressed for resources and reporters, we're gearing up a staff of bloggers to cover parts of our demographic that tend to go underreported: Greeks, multicultural students and on-campus student organizations.

These blogs will occasionally be republished as news stories in the Alligator.

Also, the Avenue will feature review blogs, so you can get your fix of movie or restaurant reviews throughout the week. These will be rotated in and out of the printed edition of the Avenue on Thursdays with the sex column and a new humor column.

Finally, we'll have a plethora of topical blogs that will be reprinted in the opinions pages.

Our online coverage will not end at blogs. We plan to use our Web site as the powerful platform it is.

We've rounded up some talented staffers to plan and create more multimedia projects. These could include videos, slideshows, maps, databases, quizzes, games and more.

Really, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and I hope you'll check in with us to give us your valued feedback.

Our readers deserve quality news, and we're ready to give it to you.

Jessica DaSilva is a fourth year journalism and political science major and editor in chief of the Alligator.

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