|Owner(s)||Spectator Publishing Company, Inc.|
|Founder(s)||Frederick William Holls|
|Managing editor||Elizabeth Karpen|
|Headquarters||New York, New York|
|Free online archives||library.columbia.edu|
Columbia Daily Spectator (also known simply as Spec) is the weekly student newspaper of Columbia University. It is published at 120th and Claremont in New York, New York. Founded in 1877, it is the oldest continuously operating college news daily in the nation after The Harvard Crimson, and has been legally independent of the university since 1962. During the academic term, it is published online Monday through Friday and printed every Thursday. In addition to serving as a campus newspaper, the Spectator also reports the latest news of the surrounding Morningside Heights community. The paper is delivered each week to over 150 locations throughout the Morningside Heights neighborhood.
The Columbia Spectator was founded in 1877 by Frederick William Holls and H.G. Paine.: 179 Also serving on the paper's first editorial board was William Barclay Parsons. Several attempts at student journalism were made before the Spectator. The first student publication formed at Columbia was the short lived Philolexian Observer, founded in 1813.: 176 The Cap and Gown was founded in 1867 as both a student newspaper and literary publication. It was renamed to the Acta Columbiana in 1873, and was absorbed by the Spectator in 1885, which also took its motto, A Studentibus Studentibusque.: 178
The Spectator was first published as a fortnightly. In 1898 it became a weekly, and a year later began to be published weekly, before finally becoming a daily paper in 1902.: 179–180
In April 2014, Spectator announced it would become the first Ivy League newspaper to cut its daily print for a weekly distribution to focus on digital content and increase revenue. The plan was approved shortly thereafter by the Board of Trustees, passing 7 to 4. John R. MacArthur, one of the members of the board, resigned in protest of the decision, but the paper did see the expected revenue increase.
Spectator is published by Spectator Publishing Company Inc, an independent 501(c)(3) corporation. Spectator Publishing Company was formed in 1962 and has been independent of Columbia University since then. The president of the Spectator Publishing Company also serves as the editor in chief of the Columbia Daily Spectator.
Spectator's writing departments, each headed by one or two editors, include campus news, city news, sports, arts and entertainment, and opinion. The other non-writing departments, also headed by their own respective editors, include photography, illustrations, graphics, copy, and business. The Business & Innovations departments, which oversee the newspaper's advertising, finances, and alumni relations, are headed by the publisher.
The paper is currently run by the 145th managing board. First-time writers at Columbia begin their time at the paper with a 1- to 2-month trial period, during which they learn the basics of writing an article and publish their first articles. Each November and December, students run for positions at the paper, a process that takes nearly a month. They begin by shadowing, or sitting with the current editors or associate editors and learning the editing process. Next they write proposals for their desired position. The students then take editing tests created by their department editor that test them on fundamentals. Finally, they complete the Turkeyshoots process with an interview. The results of the process, including the new managing board, are announced in mid-December, the weekend before finals.
In 2005, Spec started printing La Página, a weekly flyer in Spanish with translations of some of the week's English content most relevant to neighborhood readers. It folded within the year.
The next year, in February 2006, the paper launched a series of blogs, SpecBlogs. It was the third Ivy League paper to do this, after the Harvard Crimson's Sports Blog (December 2005) and The Daily Pennsylvanian's TheBuzz (January 2006).
In September 2006, Spectator staff launched The Eye, a weekly magazine featuring investigative pieces and commentary on Columbia and New York City. The name of The Eye relates both to the fact that one "spectates" with it and urban theorist Jane Jacobs' notion that "eyes on the street" help keep neighborhoods safe.
In March 2010, Spec launched a new blog, Spectrum, which is updated several times a day with breaking news, columns, and features.
In January 2018, Spec launched a branded content studio, Spectator Brand Studios. It was the second Ivy League paper to do this, after the Harvard Crimson.
Spectator has been criticized publicly by staff members over the years for obscuring its election procedures. On October 16, 2009, Ryan Bubinski, then the online editor of Spec, shut down the website in protest of a constitutional violation. The website was restored on the 18th, and Bubinski left the staff of the newspaper. The lack of a constitution brought renewed protests in 2018 when concerns over potential prior misconduct of a staffer surfaced during the Turkeyshoots process. The Corporate Board of Spectator followed an internal policy to investigate the claims, which was not made public to staffers. Following the Turkeyshoots season, the majority of the newspaper's Sports section resigned in protest.
In 2018 and 2019, work by journalists at the paper played an important role in uncovering the plagiarism scandal around Charles K. Armstrong, a professor of history at Columbia University. It also, in 2019, found that a number of professors accused or found guilty of sexual misconduct remained on campus, breaking news that English professor Michael Golston had been found guilty of sexually assaulting a student.
|Year||Board||Editor in Chief||Publisher||Managing Editor|
|2021||145th||Sarah Braka||Tamarah Wallace||Elizabeth Karpen|
|2020||144th||Karen Xia||Isabel Jauregui||Shubham Saharan|
|2019||143rd||Katherine Gerberich||Nima Mozhgani||Rahil Kamath|
|2018||142nd||Jessica Spitz||Michael Tai||Aaron Holmes|
|2017||141st||Catie Edmondson||Anurak Saelaow||J. Clara Chan|
|2016||140th||Caroline Chiu||Rachit Mohan||Ben Libman|
|2015||139th||Michael Ouimette||Daniel Friedman||Samantha Cooney|
|2014||138th||Abby Abrams||Michael Ouimette||Steven Lau|
|2013||137th||Sammy Roth||Alex Smyk||Finn Vigeland|
|2012||136th||Sarah Darville||Alex Smyk||Maggie Alden|
|2011||135th||Samuel Roth||Aditya Mukerjee||Michele Cleary|
|2010||134th||Ben Cotton||Akhil Mehta||Thomas Rhiel|
|2009||133rd||Melissa Repko||Julia Feldberg||Daria Knight-Winslow|
|2008||132nd||Tom Faure||Manal Alam||Amanda Sebba|
|2007||131st||John Davisson||John Mascari||Amanda Erickson|
|2006||130th||Steve Moncada||Jacob Olson & John Mascari||Tim Shenk, succ. by Nick Klagge|
|2005||129th||Megan Greenwell||Chase Behringer||Theo Orsher & Liz Fink|
|2004||128th||Nick Summers||Lauren Appelbaum, succ. by Tanner Zucker||James Romoser|
|2003||127th||Telis Demos||Amit Melwani||Juliana Castedo|
|2002||126th||Alice Boone||Rob Bruce||Isolde Raftery|
|2001||125th||Michael Mirer||Jeff Posnick||Nick Schifrin|
|2000||124th||Dan Laidman||Jonathan Gordin||Miriam Haskell|
|1999||123rd||Nathan Hale||Matthew Greer||Demetra Kasimis|
|1998||122nd||Eli Sanders||David S. Karp||Leila Nesson|
|1997||121st||Kim Van Duzer||Julie Yufe||Sandra P. Angulo|
|1996||120th||Hans Chen||Graham Goodkin||Lauren Goodman|
|1995||119th||Peter G. Freeman||Fredrik Stanton||Henry Tam, Jr.|
|1994||118th||Ruth Halikman||Chris Conway||Michael Stanton|
|1993||117th||Elizabeth Berke||Katherine Huibonhoa||Leyla Kokmen|
|1992||116th||Kristina Nye||Ram Rao||Jessica Shaw|
|1991||115th||Kirsten Danis||Andrew Rothschild||Catherine Thorpe|
|1990||114th||Julie Zuckerman||Anna Compaglia||Robert Hardt, Jr.|
|1989||113th||Josh Gillette||Erika Henik||Jonathan Earle|
|1988||112th||Tracy Connor||Roger Rubin||Asha Badranith|
|1987||111th||Sara Just||Alison Craiglow||John Oswald|
|1986||110th||Jacqueline Shea Murphy||Toshihiko Saito||Elizabeth Schwartz|
|1985||109th||Anne Kornhauser||Thomas Fitzsimmons||William Teichner|
|1984||108th||Aaron J. Freiwald||Thomas Fitzsimmons||Robert Zeiger|
|1983||107th||Steven Waldman||Peter Baltay||Kate Schaefer|
|1982||106th||John Zimmerman||Robert Hughes||Todd Bressi|
|1981||105th||Stuart Karle||Beverly Weintraub ("Business Manager")||Pete Brown|
|1980||104th||Jon Elsen||Bonnie Spiro ("Business Manager")||Chris Wellisz|
|1979||103rd||Jim Schachter||Carol Futernick ("Business Manager")||David Rosenberg|
|1978||102nd||Joe Ferullo||Sheldon Nussbaum ("Business Manager")||Mitch Rollnick|
|1977||101st||Richard Hart||David Margules ("Publisher"), Susan Wagner ("Business Manager")||(none)|
|1976||100th||Gregg Bloche, succ. by Jonathan Steinberg||Jon Lukomnik ("Publisher"), Michelle Seltzer ("Business Manager")||Jonathan Steinberg, succ. by David Margules|
|1975||99th||David Raab||Brian Dowd ("Business Manager")||Ted Green|
|1974||98th||Eric Rieder||Jay Lisnow ("Business Manager")||David Smith|
|1973||97th||Gail Robinson||Dan Dolgin ("Business Manager")||Richard Briffault|
|1972||96th||John Brecher||L. Stanton Towne, succ. by Geoffrey Colvin ("Business Manager")||Maureen McGuirl|
|1971||95th||Jon Groner||Jonathan Kandel ("Business Manager")||Lillian Ehrlich|
|1970||94th||Martin Flumenbaum||Mitchell Gerber, succ. by Robert J. Hunt ("Business Manager")||Juris Kaza|
|1969||93rd||Paul Starr||Lawrence D. Levin ("Business Manager")||Robert Hardman|
|1968||92nd||Robert Friedman||Nicholas Garaufis ("Business Manager")||Charles L. Skoro|
|1967||91st||Christopher Friedrichs||Leon Wyszewianski ("Business Manager")||David Heim|
|1966||90th||Alan S. Lake||Stuart A. Schlang ("Business Manager")||Mark Minton|
|1965||89th||Michael Drosnin||Jay S. Goldsamt ("Business Manager")||Daniel Epstein|
|1964||88th||Donald H. Shapiro||L. Michael Krieger ("Business Manager")||Stanford N. Sesser|
|1963||87th||Gary A. Schonwald||Burt H. Liebman ("Business Manager")||Norman A. Olch|
|1962||86th||Dov M. Grunschlag||Jon M. Eckel ("Business Manager")||Doron Gopstein|
|1961||85th||Allen Young||Paul A. Gitman ("Business Manager")||Eric Levine|
|1960||84th||Martin B. Margulies||Andrew S. Levine ("Business Manager")||John D. Hack succ. by Arnold Abrams|
|1959||83rd||William Robert Bishin||Carl A. Steinbaum ("Business Manager")||Nathan Gross|
|1958||82nd||Robert M. Burd||Barry C. Cooper ("Business Manager")||Allan D. Gochman|
|1957||81st||Bernard Nussbaum||Kenneth J. Stern ("Business Manager")||Howard J. Orlin|
|1956||80th||H. Douglas Eldridge||George Leibowitz ("Business Manager")||Bruce R. Buckley|
|1955||79th||Jonas Schultz||Grover H. Wald ("Business Manager")||Robert R. Siroty|
|1954||78th||Lee Townsend||Sheldon M. Wolf ("Business Manager")||Gerald M. Pomper|
|1953||77th||Charles E. Selinske||Lester Friedman ("Business Manager")||Judah L. Berger|
|1952||76th||Jerry G. Landauer||H. Wallace Kava ("Business Manager")||Donald L. Hymes & Rolon W. Reed|
|1951||75th||Max Frankel||Frank Walwer ("Business Manager")||Lawrence K. Grossman & Charles N. Jacobs|
|1950||74th||David Wise||James A. Williams ("Business Manager")||Peter H. Schiff|
|1949||73rd||Robert C. Frederiksen||Edward Wolfe ("Business Manager")||Gabriel Favoino (spring semester only; vacant in fall)|
|1948||72nd||Robert Neil Butler||Vincent A. Carrozza ("Business Manager")||Gene R. Haves|
|1947||71st||David L. Schraffenberger||Fred De Vries ("Business Manager")||(none)|
|1946||70th||Alan S. Kuller||Daniel Schimmel ("Business Manager")||George T. Vogel|
|1945||69th||Edward B. Gold||David H. Horowitz ("Business Manager")||Gideon H. Oppenheimer|