5 questions with…”Observer” editor-in-chief, junior Tyler Hoffman

When junior Tyler Hoffman isn’t scouring the pages of his textbooks, you’ll likely find him poring over even more pages—specifically, the pages of The Observer, the student-run newspaper of which he is editor-in-chief.

Hoffman took over the helm in April, and he embarked upon a full-scale effort to relaunch the weekly student paper, which debuts today. When picking up today’s issue, some changes might stand out, and when visiting observer.case.edu, the new look will be obvious. Hoffman and his team revamped observer.case.edu to provide a more user-friendly, interactive environment to obtain news about Case Western Reserve. In addition, users will be able to submit letters to the editor and requests for coverage online—an effort, Hoffman said, to be a news source and conversation forum.

But Hoffman’s intent is that the changes will be noticed when you read through the pages of the paper. One major adjustment Hoffman is implementing to the newspaper is a “beat” system for reporters, in which writers cover specific areas throughout the year rather than receiving random assignments based on availability. This beat-based reporting will give the reporters more in-depth knowledge of the subjects they’re covering, Hoffman said, which should result in high-quality articles for the newspaper’s readers.

Communicating has long been Hoffman’s forte. An engaging, personable individual, Hoffman is well-known around campus not just as the editor of the newspaper but also for his former position as the facilitator of the NetWellness program and his current role as a communications representative for Information Technology Services. In this position, he helps lead the department’s efforts to support students in their uses of technologies at the university—a perfect fit for the self-proclaimed “tech guru.”

Hoffman employs his great attention to detail in situations well beyond the newsroom and the classroom; for example, he’s a trained pianist and loves to cook. (“I enjoy delving into the science behind the cooking and specialize in recipes that include 200 ingredients and 201 steps,” he joked.)

So what more is there to know about the Austintown, Ohio, native? Find out with this week’s five questions.

1. What are you reading—and how are you reading it (print vs. digital)?
Since I’m often engrossed in academic readings, I’m not nearly as good as I should be about reading books for fun. I do, however, enjoy reading my news digitally. I have digital subscriptions to The New York Times and The Economist, and I can always be caught scrolling through Google News in my spare time.

2. What can’t you live without?
As materialistic as it sounds, I’m not sure if I could live without coffee. I highly enjoy starting my day at the Coffee House at University Circle, and I know for sure nothing else could keep me going when we’re sending the paper to print at 2 a.m. on Thursday mornings.

3. What’s your favorite spot on campus?
My guilty pleasure is spending time at L’Albatros. The food is always outstanding, and relaxing there with friends is a great way to conclude a hectic week.

4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
You don’t need to be on a ballot to make a difference. My mentor and high school speech and debate coach once told me this at a friend’s graduation party, and it has stayed with me throughout my college career. It has definitely proved encouraging, and it taught me the value of leaving something behind in better condition than when you found it.

5. What’s your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve University?
The people. I can honestly say I’ve been referred to as a colleague more times than I’ve been referred to as a student, which I find extremely humbling. I sincerely appreciate the sense of community that runs through our university’s core, and I find the talent of its members to be endlessly inspirational.