I’ll never forget the first day I walked into The Daily Tar Heel newsroom.
Dressed in a white summer suit and carrying a reporter’s notebook, I walked determinedly and confidently into the Student Union, determined to make a name for myself at the best college paper in the country.
Then I got lost.
Some kind soul at the information desk finally directed me to the office. I regained my composure as I walked in, only to find a den of a newsroom fit for college students. Music posters and front pages from the last 30 years adorned the walls, and the editor lay sprawled on a beat-up old leather couch.
I immediately felt ridiculous in my white summer suit. The place was just so comfortable.
And that’s just it. The DTH has always been accessible, and moving a few blocks off campus won’t change that.
The DTH is integral to the campus and to the Chapel Hill community because of our coverage and our commitment to excellence, not because of our location.
“If readers take notice of any change after the move, I want it to be them noticing an improved product,” said 2010-11 Editor-in-Chief Sarah Frier.
The larger space will especially help our advertising department and multimedia desk expand, two essential parts of the newspaper that have so much room to grow but have been stifled.
A downtown location will also help distinguish us as the independent community news source that we have been since 1993 when we stopped receiving student fees. In fact, we’ve been an incorporated 501©3 nonprofit since 1989.
“Being in the heart of campus certainly had its advantages,” said 2009-10 Editor-in-Chief Andrew Dunn. “It was easy to run out into the Union and find out what people were talking about that day, or into the quad when rumors of a demonstration trickled in. And it was always fun to weave my way through the gallery on a rainy day, watching people read the paper.”
But Dunn added that the paper has moved half a dozen times or more, and it has only improved. I’m confident that we will continue that trend.
And don’t worry, staffers and alumni. Those old front pages and music posters will soon cover the new walls. Even the old couch is coming with us.
The office is also nearby. At 151 E. Rosemary St., the DTH is a hop, skip and a jump off campus for any bright-eyed, overdressed freshmen to stop by.
We hope that even though you won’t be able drift into the newsroom with no apparent purpose quite as easily — catching up with friends or getting inspired to pick up a story after a break — the DTH will still be a place to visit.
The extra block or two it takes to come by and grab an application after your last class will surprise you with its benefits.
Everyone who applies to the DTH gets a spot.
We’re at a teaching paper that prides itself in its ability to be a valuable newspaper experience right on campus — even when we’re off campus.
We’re still the same people.
It’s still The Daily Tar Heel.
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