Future Editor-in-Chief Andy Thomason to focus on enterprise, stronger online presence

Andy Thomason will join the ranks of famous journalists Charles Kuralt, Thomas Wolfe and Pulitzer Prize-winner Jonathan Yardley as editor-in-chief of The Daily Tar Heel next year.

Thomason was chosen Saturday by an 11-member selection committee made up of Daily Tar Heel staff, students, faculty and a member of the community.

Thomason was the sole candidate running for the position, but Zach Evans, a member of the selection board and multimedia editor at The Daily Tar Heel, said that didn’t diminish the seriousness of the selection process.

“People told me it would be an attack,” Thomason said. “But questions were very constructive and fair.”

Thomason, a junior history major from Charlotte, is currently editor of the paper’s University desk. He also served as editor-in-chief last summer.

The selection committee reviewed Thomason’s 17-point platform.

The platform includes ways to improve article content, multimedia, transparency and reporter training.

Members of the selection board said they were impressed with Thomason’s passion and experience.

“You could tell he has a vision and knows how to achieve his goals,” Evans said.

Thomason’s three-year experience also convinced the selection committee of his capability.

“Most of his platform was pragmatic,” said Cameron Parker, member of the selection committee. “He understands the way the paper works.”

Parker, former opinion editor of The Daily Tar Heel, said enterprise stories must be improved in order for the paper to remain prestigious.

And Thomason agrees. He plans to create a deputy managing editor for enterprise in order to encourage long term, investigative stories.

Thomason will also focus on enhancing the paper’s role as a public servant and increasing transparency.

Another main area of Thomason’s platform is to increase trust among the paper’s main audience: students.

“Lack of trust among readers who may have felt that way for a long time is a difficult challenge,” he said.

To alleviate students’ concerns about misquoting and libel, Thomason will increase and standardize training for all writers.

Current Editor-in-Chief Steven Norton said Thomason was a great choice for the position.

“From the first time I saw him work, I witnessed his capability for leadership,” Norton said.

Norton’s advice for Thomason is to not be too hard on himself.

“There will be bad days, but there will also be magnificent triumphs,” he said. “And you always have tomorrow to do better with another paper.”

Contact the State & National Editor at state@dailytarheel.com.

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