You may notice the Feb. 23 print edition of The Daily Tar Heel is a new size. It’s a time of monumental change for the DTH. The old ways of operating are no longer working, and we’re slowly figuring out how to navigate a changing media world. The current staff is learning how to be flexible.
We started this year with a different website and different print product. In August we had no idea which direction we would take, so we learned to roll with the punches.
We’re also moving offices. Thanks to the internet we can largely work remotely when pressed, but the importance of having a central location cannot be understated. The office is a place to come together, to call home and to work and create memories.
Today, this edition of the DTH was produced in less than ideal conditions. Our stuff is still being moved, and there isn’t internet in the new office, so we’re currently operating out of the basement of Carroll Hall. We’re moving into our new location soon, but this past week the staff has put out the news from all over campus.
All of this change also comes during a time of celebration, which is fitting for the DTH. Whenever this paper has faced a challenge, we've done it with humor and without fear — celebrating surviving even the toughest of times by going to Linda's.
While this weekend will be dedicated to celebrating our history, it is also a time to reflect for the future. One thing I learned while reading about the paper's history is that it has always faced two big problems.
In my mind, these problems have been near-universal for most DTH staffs. First, fostering a diverse staff has been something the DTH has always struggled with. Second, financing the journalism the DTH produces has threatened this paper’s existence multiple times.
The Daily Tar Heel is officially 125 years old as of today. Given how stressful putting out the news every day can be, it is truly a testament to the quality of journalists coming to UNC that we’ve managed to make it work for this long.
At the DTH's inception as a wing of the athletic association, I doubt the editors had any way of knowing what they were unleashing on Chapel Hill.
The Daily Tar Heel started on a humble page, just looking to be a local recorder of events. Thankfully, the DTH did not stick to its humble beginnings. The paper quickly began to see itself as more than a simple recorder of events; it began to investigate and take a stake in its community. This paper has always been willing to call out injustice, to demand more and to ruffle feathers when the community needed it.
All of this was done by a student staff who never accepted the limitations many assume come with being a student paper. After all, the DTH works professional hours, so it was only natural that they would have professional aspirations.
These problems will continue into the future, but with a staff that doesn’t accept the status quo often, I have no doubt people will continue to find ways to make the DTH better.
We’ve been around for over a century, and as long as there is a UNC to cover, we will be there to report on it.
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