The Daily Tar Heel
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The Daily Tar Heel

Your Community, Your Paper, Your Voice

Go ahead. Breathe a sigh of relief and know that unlike some of my predecessors, I won't be so evil as to threaten to take away your ability to ponder the answer to 34 across in your 9:30 class.

I mean, I take classes too. I know how it is.

Now that we have answered the question everyone was really curious about, I want to share some of my thoughts about The Daily Tar Heel with those of you who are still reading. (And I sincerely hope that "those of you" is more than just the DTH staff and my roommates. These people have been hearing little other than my thoughts about the DTH recently.)

When I ran for editor, I spent a lot of time thinking about ways to make readers more interested in the paper. I talked to people in my classes, around campus and at bars to find out their thoughts about the DTH.

Most said that (other than the crossword), they picked up the DTH primarily to read about issues affecting the campus -- issues that were rarely, if ever, covered by other news outlets.

But many said they rarely picked up the DTH at all, and if they did, it was only to work on the crossword or scan the classified ads for a new couch.

This upset me. So I began to explore possible explanations for this attitude.

Some say that our readers, particularly students, are just apathetic. They don't care about anything other than their grades and their social lives.

But one of the best things about working for the DTH for the past three years is that it has given me the opportunity to get to know a lot of the students on this campus.

And I think writing students off as apathetic is selling us incredibly short.

For many UNC students, Chapel Hill is our first real community. It is where we first begin to live independent lives, to "discover ourselves," (whatever that means) identify our values, our hopes and our dreams.

The DTH exists to inform members of the University community about the events that shape all of our lives -- in hopes that that information will help create informed citizens who can become active and responsible members of their community.

This year we at the DTH are going to try to be more responsive to the needs of our readers.

We are going to try to reach out to segments of the community that we previously have ignored or neglected in our coverage.

But we need your help. We need to know what would make you want to read the DTH. So contact our Ombudsman, Josh Myerov at jmyerov@email.unc.edu.

We will host forums throughout the year to examine critical news issues. Attend one.

Write a letter to the editor. Join our Student Feedback Board or apply to work here.

We want to interact with the community. But we need the community to interact with us as well.

In the past three years, I have covered natural disaster recovery efforts, tuition increases, campus elections, the death of one chancellor and the selection of another.

Many of the key players in these events have been students. But many students sat idly by and simply watched these events unfold, without playing an active role in affecting the outcome.

Worse yet, some students embraced the pessimist's shortsighted stereotype and have chosen to completely ignore the events that don't directly affect their lives.

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.

But this year, we can change that.

Get hype. Get involved. Shake things up. Become an active participant in your community.

And let us help you. Let us know how we can serve you better. Pick up the DTH this year for more than just the crossword.

Oh, and one last thing.

Here's a little hint for those of you that have read this far.

This year the answers to each crossword puzzle will run the same day as that crossword puzzle.

So, if you're stumped, you won't have to wait until tomorrow to find out the answer to 34 across.

See, like I said, it's all about the readers.

Special Print Edition
The Daily Tar Heel 2024 Orientation Guide