If selected as editor-in-chief for the next school year, junior Rachel Jones, current online managing editor, said she wants to use her diverse professional experience on staff to lead the paper into the new age of media.
Jones joined the paper as a first-year and served as a staff writer on what is now the Arts and Entertainment desk. She said she never intended to run for editor-in-chief. She originally wanted to save running for the position of online managing editor for her senior year. She remembers her first DTH orientation, listening to the editor-in-chief at the time introduce the staff.
Read Jones' platform here.
“I remember seeing that and thinking, ‘Gosh I wonder if someday that’ll be me,’ and then I was like, 'No, that’s dumb,' and put it out of my head,” Jones said.
After years of involvement and rising through the ranks from assistant editor of Arts to summer editor to her current position, Jones said she believes her diverse experience on the paper will help guide the DTH in a more modern, digital age. During the past year, the DTH has been struggling with financial issues. Part of Jones’ platform is to increase transparency on financial issues, but to keep in mind the content and progress of the paper.
“I think a lot of this year has been kind of survival mode. Just because we have been dealing with a financial crisis," Jones said. "And while that’s still really important and something that is going to be a big challenge next year, I think we need to think broader and say outside of the DTH losing money we have to make sure our content is good.”
Jones said these changes include increasing diversity on the DTH's staff. She said she wants the paper’s staff to more accurately represent the demographics of UNC’s campus.
Ryan Schocket, former Arts assistant editor who hired Jones to the paper, said her leadership would help the paper connect more with students.
“I think with Rachel, there’s just always going to be that guarantee that she has that voice, she brings a voice, she brings a uniqueness to The Daily Tar Heel that hopefully is going to connect with students and readers," Schocket said.
Much of Jones’ platform includes strengthening production desks such as photo and copy and shifting the paper to a more digital-minded direction. Paul O’Connor, a professor in the School of Media and Journalism who has taught Jones twice, said her dedication and news sense will help her succeed in the role if chosen.
“As a leader, I think the DTH should always have someone who wants to do this as a living, and Rachel wants to be in news,” O’Connor said.
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