“‘Overwhelming,’ is what we decided the word was,” she said Saturday, after her selection as the 2014-15 editor-in-chief of The Daily Tar Heel.
But if Surane was overwhelmed, it wasn’t for long — the first thing on her mind after being selected was getting ready for next year.
Surane, currently the Daily Tar Heel’s city desk editor, is a junior business journalism major from Cornelius who ran unopposed for editor-in-chief.
Between assembling her new staff of editors, learning the ins and outs of running the newspaper and beginning to implement an ambitious platform, she will have a full schedule in the months before taking the helm.
Joe Schwartz , who served as the DTH’s editor-in-chief for 2006-07, was a member of the selection committee. Schwartz said Surane’s candidate platform, which emphasizes the newspaper’s online presence and investigative work, made him confident in her ability to lead.
“The ideas that she’s articulated, they remind me of a Daily Tar Heel that I worked at,” Schwartz said.
“And I guess the best compliment I could give her is I would want to work in a newsroom that she’s in charge of.”
Surane’s platform calls for instituting an investigations and special projects team, which would handle long term stories and continuous series on topics relevant to readers.
She said while readers can expect the DTH’s coverage areas to remain consistent, she wants to see more narrative journalism, in-depth investigations and forward-looking stories. Surane said one of the most valuable parts of the selection process was the willingness of committee members to challenge her in their questioning.
During their meeting Saturday, members spent an hour interviewing Surane about her platform before voting on whether or not to select her as editor.
“It’s a great process because it shows you what you need to look at more in your platform,” she said. “I’m not married to my platform — I’m willing to hear other people’s ideas.”
Hope Thomson , a junior chemistry major from Durham, also served on the selection committee.
“(Surane is) someone who loves this and loves this atmosphere and putting out the paper,” Thomson said. “That was what struck me most — she is so, so passionate.”
Though Surane ran unopposed, Schwartz said the selection process was no less rigorous.
“I think it’s important even when you have one candidate to make sure that candidate is well-qualified,” he said.
“Not just to do it well, but to do it excellently well.”