The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
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The Daily Tar Heel

I think we look pretty good for being 117 years old.

On this day in 1893, seven of the 376 students at UNC gathered to publish the first issue of The Tar Heel.

In the years since then, generations of student journalists have covered the comings and goings of six University presidents and 11 chancellors.

We’ve moved from a product of the Athletic Association to complete editorial and financial independence. And we’ve grown from four pages weekly to about 12 every day.

But honestly, the main changes at The Daily Tar Heel through the decades have been in clothing, hairdos and technology — not in spirit. That is our greatest strength.

Every year, a new crop of students floods the DTH office — ambitious, passionate and eager to discover the community for the first time.

Instead of being weighed down by tradition and the ways things have always been done, we find inspiration in our past.

We look to the people who have come before us as a standard and a guide, pushing ourselves to always find ways to better serve the community. Every new wave of staff members brings their own ideas.

The spirit of The Daily Tar Heel is steadfast because of, not in spite of, those constant changes.

We still question authority on all levels, from administrators, the government and society. We don’t accept the status quo as a valid reason or excuse.

We still attack problems with the idealistic view that we can change things for the better, instead of retreating in cynicism.

We still put in the time and effort that only college students running on caffeine and Pop-Tarts can afford.

And we still strive to earn the trust and attention of the student body as if it were for the first time.

I think those seven founding staff members of The Tar Heel would feel right at home in the office today. If only we could get them out of coat and tails.


Contact Andrew Dunn at

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