I was standing on Hooker Fields, covered head to toe in Holi powders, when a student I didn’t know walked up to me.
“Are you Praveena?” she asked.
I answered yes. What she said next left me in tears:
“Oh my gosh, well I love The Daily Tar Heel, and I love seeing a beautiful South Asian woman being the face of it.”
It struck me because it’s why I do what I do — it’s the biggest reason why I stayed at the DTH.
I’ve worked at the paper since the first semester of my first year at UNC, and I never wanted to be an editor, let alone the editor-in-chief. But when the application period rolled around, I started to think, “What if?”
What the stranger at Holi Moli said to me confirmed the conclusion I had come to when I sent in my application for the DTH’s top job last spring: If I was selected, I could have the power and privilege to help move the newsroom forward, to make it a paper that everyone could see themselves in.
It was a lofty goal. But it is also our responsibility as journalists and as the largest news organization in the county to serve our community the way it deserves.
As the University approaches the end of another academic year, there is yet another year of news to look back on. At the DTH, it was another year of news breaking during class, studying for exams between finishing print pages and navigating the lines between being a student and a journalist.