The Post Publishing Board named Elizabeth Backo editor-in-chief for the 2017-18 academic year on Friday.
Backo, a junior studying journalism from Pittsburgh, said her proposal for the position hit home on open communication. She said she would “love to be writing about more people and bringing more people into the newsroom.”
“I want to really improve our digital presence as well,” Backo said. “I think we created a really great product this year with the tabloid and we had a brand new website, which was crazy. I think we laid so much ground work and there’s so much room for improvement after just one year of that, so I’m looking forward to doing more with Twitter, and Facebook and social media.”
Current editor-in-chief Emma Ockerman, who is a senior studying journalism, said she thinks Backo had a lot of great ideas about how to engage with The Post’s audience next year and how to ensure that it is reaching its readers in a "more thorough and energizing way."
“I think that Liz is going to keep The Post as the great product that it is, and she’s gonna put a lot of love in this newsroom,” Ockerman said. “I see her really excelling next year.”
Hans Meyer, chair of The Post Publishing Board and associate professor of journalism, said the board would like to see Backo “increase the work that The Post is doing on the website and on the digital sphere to increase the amount of web-only content to really get students engaged on social media.”
“One of the things we also encouraged Liz to do as editor is to increase diversity both in the stories covered, the sources quoted and in the people in the newsroom,” Meyer said. “It’s important that a student newspaper, in the service of journalism, finds a way to give everyone a voice.”
Ockerman also said she hopes The Post can increase diversity in the coming year.
"One thing that’s cool, too, it’s going to be one woman to another woman, and I’m really glad that we are exhibiting strong female leadership in the newsroom," she said. "And I hope that we can continue to empower women, but I also hope — and I think that Liz will carry this out — to focus on diversity and inclusivity in the newsroom next year."
Backo was an intern at TABLE Magazine this past summer in Pittsburgh while also working at Sheetz. She will serve as a digital intern at The Chautauquan Daily this summer. She said her next step is to begin preparing for next year, and she plans to reach out to others and begin forming relationships.
“I’m really excited for next year, to see all the great improvements that we can do, to move forward and to really improve The Post,” Backo said.