Whether she’s writing and editing stories about the town of Chapel Hill or making The Daily Tar Heel staff feel welcome, junior Sarah Frier has a strong sense of community.
Frier, the current city editor and a former features editor, said one of her primary goals would be to foster a stronger community relationship after The Daily Tar Heel’s move off campus next fall.
“I think as we move off campus it’s going to be absolutely pivotal for us to work harder on engaging the community in our coverage, and we’re going to have to focus efforts on things that are really important for us to not get lazy about, like reaching out and trying to get people’s help to bring new voices to the paper,” she said.
Sarah Frier-Born Sept. 17, 1989, in Fremont, Calif.
Journalism and Mass Communication major
-Plans for summer: intern for Bloomberg News in New York
The only candidate for next year’s editor-in-chief of The Daily Tar Heel, Frier will either be approved or denied Saturday by an 11-member committee made up of students, faculty, community members and Daily Tar Heel staff.
If Frier receives fewer than six votes and is denied, the committee will reopen the selection process. The last time the editor position went unchallenged was 2001.
Frier added that when she first started working for the city desk, she became aware of the much wider community of Chapel Hill.
“I was just thrown into this whirlwind of community issues that I’d never even realized before — first of all, being a new reporter and second of all being an out-of-state student — just all these issues that I was so excited to learn about,” Frier said.
Frier also said she wants to make sure The Daily Tar Heel maintains a strong relationship with the University.
To manage the combined audience, she proposed in her platform to reinstate the position of public editor, who would act as a liaison between The Daily Tar Heel and the community. The public editor would be chosen from outside the current Daily Tar Heel staff.
“They will be an unbiased — as much as they can be — observer of what we do,” she said.
“Basically, for things like our Greek coverage earlier this year and the gender neutral language conflict — those kinds of things that spark tension with the community — the public editor would be in charge of orchestrating forums about the issue and trying to make it a constructive conversation rather than just a tension.”
Frier already tries to foster a sense of community on the paper’s staff.
Anika Anand, a senior staff writer who used to work with Frier as an assistant city editor, said she was intimidated by The Daily Tar Heel when she first started working, but Frier made her feel welcome.
“Because I came in as a transfer student and a junior, it was difficult for me to break into the crowd,” Anand said. “But Sarah is really good at creating a sense of community and making each one of us feel like a part of The Daily Tar Heel.”
Outside of the newsroom, Frier’s known for her work ethic.
“She is never satisfied with the status quo,” said Chris Roush, a business journalism professor who has taught Frier. “She’s always thinking of how something can be better.”
Contact the University Editor at email@example.com.
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