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Over the years, the paper tried every printing schedule possible, even becoming a daily or almost-daily for at least four years in the early 1900s. It went on to shed its poor puns and developed into a more serious publication–refining its editorial tone, expanding its world news section, settling into a semiweekly schedule (Tuesdays and Fridays), and growing to 20 pages.

“The Tech’s evolved to be more professional,” says its current editor in chief, Nick Semenkovich ‘09, who joined the paper in September 2006. The all-volunteer organization has won a host of awards, most recently a 2007 Associated Collegiate Press Newspaper Pacemaker award, known unofficially as the “Pulitzer of college newspapers,” Semenkovich says. The paper, which is printed in color half of the time, includes articles from the New York Times wire service and has a print run of about 8,000 copies. It sometimes breaks stories that get picked up by national–and occasionally international–outlets, says Semenkovich.

The Tech was the first newspaper in the world to go online, according to the paper’s current business manager, Austin Chu ‘08. Launched in 1993, the Tech’s website has roughly 6,000 issues–most of the content the paper has ever published–available in PDF or HTML format, starting from issue 1. The carefully kept archives serve as an ongoing history of the Institute, says Semenkovich.

“A college paper is a better criterion of the spirit of the institution and the character of the students than are its catalogues or other official publications,” read an editorial in issue 9. Reading very old issues of the Tech confirms how that spirit and character have endured through the years, even as it evokes a world that would change beyond recognition. As the editorial pointed out, “students select a college because they expect to find there that which is congenial to their tastes; and once within the college, the college paper, being their mouthpiece, naturally expresses their ideas and sentiments.”

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Credit: courtesy of the MIT Museum

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