Nicole Comparato didn’t plan on becoming editor-in-chief of The Daily Tar Heel when she first walked into the office as a freshman.
Comparato, a junior and the University Desk Editor, joined the staff with no previous journalism experience. She has continued writing for the past three years and was selected Saturday to become the 2013-14 editor-in-chief.
“I’m so happy and so overwhelmed — I never would have believed you then if you told me I’d become the editor-in-chief in a few years,” she said.
Chrissy Beck, general manager of Duke University’s student newspaper, The Chronicle, who served on an 11-member selection committee, said it was clear that Comparato is passionate about journalism, which is one of the most important parts of leading a newspaper.
“I was very happy to see that there were three qualified candidates who take journalism seriously and care about it because that’s exactly what the news industry needs,” Beck said.
She said the DTH has been a leader in college journalism, and she believes Comparato will continue to uphold its reputation.
Senior Madeline Merrill, who represented the UNC student body as one of four at-large student members, said that among the three candidates, Comparato had the clearest vision.
“Any newsroom could use the energy and enthusiasm of Nicole and the other candidates,” she said.
“I truly see The Daily Tar Heel as the voice of this community and the campus, so I’m very excited to see what she has in store for next year.”
From the newsroom perspective, the editor-in-chief also needs to be a leader who not only has innovative ideas but can implement them as well, said Caitlin McCabe, another member of the selection committee and a senior writer for the DTH.
“Even though each editor-in-chief only has a year to implement their platform, there is so much potential for crucial changes,” she said.
McCabe said current Editor-in-Chief Andy Thomason is responsive to writers and always willing to discuss new story ideas and approaches.
“I really hope Nicole continues this,” she said.
Comparato said she draws a lot of inspiration and knowledge from Thomason, and she hopes to continue and expand upon the legacy he has left.
“I have seen Andy progress through my years here, and I’ve kind of been following down the same path as him since my start at the paper,” she said.
Comparato also said she would love to sit down with Dulaney and Walker and discuss their ideas for the newspaper’s future.
“I said this in my concluding statements — at the end of the day, we’re all a team and just want to make this paper the best it could be.”
Contact the desk editor at email@example.com.
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