Entering college, Ladisic, a junior journalism and political science major, said she knew she wanted to write for The Daily Tar Heel and applied in her first year.
Ladisic started as a staff writer for the city desk and then became assistant city editor her sophomore year. The following semester, she served as online managing editor and took on the role of summer editor-in-chief in 2014.
“Through the past three years, I’ve made it a point to try and learn what’s going on in each desk,” Ladisic said. “I’ve learned how to design a page, and I’ve tried to learn how to shoot photography — I’m not very good, but I’ve tried — and I’ve worked on the copy desk a lot and then as summer editor.”
Ladisic said this well-rounded knowledge has taught her the necessary skills to produce a paper.
“Over the past three years, I’ve been working really hard to make sure I know what I’m doing and make sure I know how to do the work that I expect other people to do for me,” she said.
Ladisic said professional newsrooms don’t just need a reporter anymore. They need a reporter, photographer, graphic designer, copy editor, videographer and an online editor all packaged into one person — and she wants to make sure all staffers have those skills.
“People say that it is a digital-first world, and I think we’re still in a print-first newsroom, and I think it’s really time that we dive in and stop talking about it and do it,” Ladisic said.
She said the first step in digitizing is starting a newsletter, like theSkimm, through which people can get news emailed to their inbox.
Andy Bechtel, associate professor in the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said Ladisic has been a high performing student in both of the classes she has taken with him.
“One thing I like about Paige is that she has a very digital focus — she’s very much seeing that transition happening from print to digital media,” Bechtel said. “And I think she’s thinking about how the DTH can fit into that change.”
Bechtel said Ladisic’s passion for journalism and proficiency in editing skills make her a great candidate for editor-in-chief.
“I see her as someone who could be a leader down the line for our field for years to come,” Bechtel said.
Kelsey Weekman, assistant online editor, said Ladisic’s passion will drive the paper.
“She really cares a lot about this paper — it’s really her pride and joy, so I think she’d be incredible,” Weekman said.
Weekman and sophomore Stephanie Lamm, assistant university desk editor, said Ladisic is competent, organized and qualified for the editor-in-chief position.
When Lamm transferred from Elon University and began working at The Daily Tar Heel during the summer, she said Ladisic helped to facilitate the process of becoming a part of the newspaper.
“Paige is great — she’s one of those people that’s always there for you,” Lamm said. “If you need anything at all she’d be happy to help you.”