The job means working constant hours and making decisions that draw merciless public scrutiny. It means feeling, sometimes, like you’re graduating from The Daily Tar Heel and not from UNC.
People ask me why I do it.
I do it for the questions that won’t get answered unless we answer them.
I do it for the momentum of each night, after midnight, after the paper has been sent to the printer and my managing editors and I talk about what we can tackle tomorrow.
Most of all, I do it for the people — about 56,000 people — who open each day a blue newspaper box or an Internet browser and read.
My term as editor-in-chief was just one in the 118-year history of this newspaper. It was the next step in a constant series of steps toward making the DTH a better resource for readers.
Sometimes I stepped on toes.
I received hate mail for weeks after deciding to sue the University for public records and after publishing an editorial stating that Butch Davis should no longer be our football coach. (“To the editors of the DTH: I hope your next meal at Lenoir gives you food poisoning,” said one reader in a Kvetch that I’ve taped to my computer.)
But those things pay off — sometimes in a personal lesson, sometimes in a DTH victory. In the lawsuit, for example, a judge ruled in our favor.