The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday January 18th

Help us serve you the best we can

Andrew Dunn
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Today’s paper describes the uncertainty that’s pervasive on campus and in our community.

For freshmen, there’s the thrill and anxiety of moving to campus for the first time. For UNC employees, there’s the fear of losing their jobs as administrators slash budgets.

Even within The Daily Tar Heel, there’s change.

We debuted a revamped Web site and work flow in our newsroom. Check out page 8 to see the new features. And we’ve got a new crop of editors to boot.

But don’t be uncertain about the quality of your DTH. We are back and better than ever.

We always take seriously the responsibility of keeping you informed and holding your leaders accountable.

This year, we shoulder it again with renewed vigor and purpose. We will be your eyes, ears and sometimes your voice as administrators decide where to make budget cuts and Chapel Hill and Carrboro elections go down to the wire.

I’m particularly excited that two crucial parts of our newsroom — and your pages — have been revived this year.

The arts desk is returning to give you comprehensive coverage of the vibrant visual and performing arts communities surrounding campus.

And the investigative team will again delve through documents, records and data to get the stories behind the big issues.

We’ve put together a supremely talented team of staffers and editors to get all this done. But we’re going to need you to help us become the source of news that you need.

The Daily Tar Heel has been knocked before and called a walled fortress, one that doesn’t accept outside opinions. I’ve also heard folks say that our staff is composed of tunnel-visioned zombies who have sold their souls to the newspaper.

If you’ve felt that way in the past, hear this: None of what we do is worth a darn unless we are truly serving you.

A few years ago, the DTH editor made a vow to take time each day to simply walk through campus and talk to people.

I’m going to bring that back. If I run into somebody walking out of Davis Library who we aren’t serving well, we need to change.

And for when I’m not meandering through the quad, we’re making it as easy as possible for you to get your voice heard this year.

We’re resurrecting the Community Feedback Board, which in past years has brought together students, faculty, staff and community members to critique the DTH and tell us how we can be doing better.

A newly created Innovation Team will get your input and ideas for our Web site. And we’ve hired a community manager to reach out on Twitter and Facebook.

Of course, you’re always free to send me an e-mail, come by my office hours, call my phone or stop me as we pass in the Pit.

In every doctor’s office and bank, you’ll see a “Bill of Rights.” This spells out what the patient or customer can expect, what the company must provide.

At The Daily Tar Heel, our entire existence is based on trust. So here’s your “Reader Bill of Rights.” If we aren’t living up to these standards, tell us strongly and loudly.

We pledge that:

     -We will always strive to make every word printed on our pages or on the Web site factual, both technically and in spirit.

     -Our reporters will always cut through the spin and seek the full story.

     -The DTH will always be a responsive member of the community. As part of that, every one of your voices will be heard and respected.

     -The DTH’s editorial page will always be a strong voice for positive change.

If we’re not living up to these standards, you better let us know.

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