The Daily Tar Heel selected a new leader Saturday: junior Rachel Jones.
Jones, a journalism major and English minor, is currently the online managing editor for the DTH. Her role as editor-in-chief will begin in the fall.
“I’m ridiculously excited,” Jones said following her victory. “This just feels really great after being on this paper for three years, knowing that I’m going to lead it for my senior year and getting ready to do that for the next couple of weeks is going to be really, really exciting.”
Jones ran unopposed for the position on a platform that highlighted increasing diversity within the newsroom, consolidating City and State & National coverage, and increasing transparency within the DTH Board of Directors. She was chosen by a selection committee made up of students, DTH editors, professors and community members.
Alexander Rike, a program manager for the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, was on the committee. He said he appreciated Jones’ clarity to the questions they had and her plans for covering Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
“I love her approach to covering local issues, issues related to the local government and the way she’s approaching Northside neighborhood and other issues that are important to the broader community,” he said.
Kate Sheppard, teaching associate professor in the UNC School of Media and Journalism, also praised Jones’ ideas for the future of the DTH.
“She demonstrated a lot of capability and leadership skills, and she obviously is very invested in the future of The Daily Tar Heel, and has a lot of great ideas about what they should be doing going forward,” Sheppard said. “She’s a really capable leader who’s ready to take the helm.”
Jones will be taking over the paper after a year of financial turbulence, during which the DTH cut newsroom salaries, made changes to its management positions, moved buildings and transitioned to a smaller print product all to save money.
Current editor-in-chief Tyler Fleming said the past year was stressful due to the changes at the paper, but he feels good about passing the torch to Jones.
“It’s encouraging to know that the person taking over this position is someone I fully trust and have the utmost confidence in,” he said. “I have no doubt that the DTH is on a good road moving forward, and that Rachel will lead it to better places.”
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