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The Daily Tar Heel

Column: Do work worth working for

Alison Krug

Newsroom director Alison Krug

The newspaper is no place for someone who likes it soft.”

In 1967, The Macon Telegraph advertised an open position in the newsroom with this explicitly ominous and implicitly creepy sentiment, positioned under an equally welcoming bold sans-serif title stating, “Considering a newspaper career? Be prepared to eat a cold supper once in a while.” All of that is above an image of a soldier draining a canteen.

It seems like a counterintuitive way for The Macon Telegraph to recruit a staff, and it may seem like a counterintuitive anecdote to begin this call to action to apply to work for The Daily Tar Heel.

But the ad goes on: “Newspaper work is hard and challenging, intellectually and physically. But there are rewards — good financial rewards” (I think this might have been a joke, even in the ’60s) “and other rewards too. The newspaperman knows he contributes to keeping people informed, and no society can remain free without information.”

The ad ends with instructions to write in for a free booklet on newspaper careers “if you think these things are worth working for.”

The DTH is an office of people who, though we come from different backgrounds and beliefs and majors and mindsets, know these things are worth working for. It’s an office where it’s acknowledged that “newspaper work is hard and challenging,” but it’s an atmosphere that cultivates learning, fosters development and contributes to our community.

The Macon Telegraph ad is admittedly cheesy and incredibly, optimistically noble in its colorful proclamations about the role of newspaper work. Am I taking it too seriously? The same paper ran an ad the same year listing a job raising chinchillas.

But I get pretty cheesy and overly noble when I try to put into words the work that the DTH does for its community.

In my tenure at this paper, no matter what I was doing, it felt exciting if I was doing it for the DTH.

Whether I was jumping in to help with breaking news or editing the grammar of a routine news brief, it kept me from feeling like a bystander in my community.

When I felt bogged down by homework or in a creative slump or worn out from the election cycle, the DTH provided me with a clear conduit to help my efforts, passions and enthusiasm directly affect my community.

At the DTH, I work with people worth working for, who inspire and educate me with their work ethic and pursuit of truth, and I work for a community worth working for, a collective of students and activists and residents who strive to see Chapel Hill at its best.

There are a lot of ways to work for what you think is worth working for in Chapel Hill. And if you think that way might be through The Daily Tar Heel, the application to join the DTH is due by 4 p.m. on Jan. 21.

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