The Daily Tar Heel
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The Daily Tar Heel

DTH editor candidate: Steven Norton's ideas

The Daily Tar Heel’s mission is twofold. We first serve as a resource for readers, producing in-depth, relevant and visually appealing content.

We also make it our mission to be the best training ground for aspiring journalists by providing them with relevant skills and pushing them to fulfill their potential.

By developing a system for long-term growth, creating an online mentality throughout the newsroom and improving staff training and retention, I plan to set the pace for moving forward with excitement, transparency and a dedication to the community we serve.


  • Inspire all staff to reach their full potential as journalists, and then push them to take a step further. An exciting, challenging and collaborative newsroom will inspire staff to work together for the betterment of themselves and readers.
  • Decision making will be a conversation. Challenge staff and myself to always think of how to improve, and always be open to new suggestions. If an idea works, keep it. If not, toss it, but never be afraid to try something new.

Long-term planning

To present stories in the most innovative and attractive way, it’s essential that we prepare for big stories well before they happen.

  • A calendar will be visible in the newsroom to highlight the most important campus and community goals each month.
  • We will update the DTH style guide and work to develop a comprehensive graphics, online, multimedia and photo style guide. This will create consistency in our print and online products and increase professionalism and accuracy.

An online mentality

The product that shows up in boxes every day will never stop being important, and we will continue to push ourselves with bold design and hard-hitting stories. But it’s time to create an online mentality among staff and readers and better utilize the website to better reach our communities both inside and outside Chapel Hill.

  • The online editor will create weekly reports using Chartbeat and Google Analytics to track our effectiveness at reaching our online audience.
  • Blog content will carry the same weight as stories. Although the content may be lighter, blogs serve as an incredible entry point for readers.

Reach out to our audiences

We’re lucky to have community members that don’t hesitate to communicate with us when they think we’re doing something right or wrong.

  • Staff will be required to meet with at least one source per week in order to improve interaction in the community. Editors will be expected to pitch at least two story ideas each week that come from these meetings.
  • Continue to provide live video streams at controversial or popular events in the community. Our audience has responded to this extremely well, and we should continue to explore how to better serve them in this way.

Improve training

  • Orientation will last an entire day, as opposed to a few hours, to better prepare staff for their jobs.
  • Work with the newsroom adviser to create tracks that staff can take within the DTH. If someone wants to become a writer, photographer, editor or all three, there will be a system in place to ensure staff meet their goals.

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