Managing editor Raymond Rapada will step in as the Daily Trojan’s editor-in-chief after Natalie Oganesyan announced her resignation from the position in a letter to Daily Trojan staff Friday.
In her letter, Oganesyan cited personal losses and mental health reasons for her resignation, saying that she could not carry on as a leader who prioritizes mental health, compassion and inclusion without extending the same principles to herself.
“Raymond is beyond talented, empathetic and considerate, and I have so much faith in them as a capable, compassionate leader,” Oganesyan wrote in her letter. “He has been my rock countless times, and their goals of equity and justice in the newsroom and paper align with my vision for the future of DT.”
Rapada, a senior majoring in journalism, has been on the Daily Trojan staff since he transferred to USC in Fall 2019. He immediately took on the role of opinion editor, then joined the managing team in Spring 2020. Rapada met Oganesyan through the Daily Trojan and said he remembers walking back to his dorm with her, where she was an RA, after working nights in the newsroom together.
“I consider Natalie one of my first friends at USC,” Rapada said. “She has always been supportive of me, and I’ve always been supportive of her. I think it definitely took a lot of strength for her to come to the decision to step down, which I really admire about her.”
Rapada will serve as editor-in-chief until the end of the fall semester, when there will be an election for Spring 2021 leadership. He said that in the next two months he wants to use the recent findings of the diversity staff report to address inequalities within the newsroom.
“As a newsroom, we cannot adequately and fairly report on our campus and student body when our staff lacks the diversity in race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, socioeconomic status and abilities of our campus,” Rapada said. “I really want to work toward making the Daily Trojan a safe and accessible space for students to come from underrepresented and underserved communities to work in and tell their stories.”