Help The Daily Tar Heel connect with the community

Last year, when I took a job as city editor of The Daily Tar Heel, it was clear to me that our role in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Orange County was growing. We needed to be proactive with our coverage to fill a gap left as other local news organizations scaled back.

As I prepare to be the DTH  editor-in-chief in the fall, I know filling that gap means more than just providing the news -- it means letting people in the community know they can count on us to do so.

Because we're a student-run newspaper catered primarily to a University audience, we need to work harder to let you know you can trust our coverage of local issues, from elections to business to the waste transfer station debate.

We've grown to know some of you through our @dailytarheel Twitter account and our Facebook page. We're moving our newsroom to a building at 151 Rosemary St. this summer and would love for you to visit and meet us personally.

But I need your help. I want to know -- if you read our local coverage, why do you? If not, why not? Do you have suggestions for how we could be better and more accessible? Any functions you'd like to see on our Web site?

Click here to see my plans for next year, and please let me know what you think.


Sarah Frier


Twitter: @sarahfrier



Yep! Everyday. Why? It's a good paper and has a decent crossword puzzle. 

as someone who sleeps with a former editor of the DTH, I can say they are VERY picky about misspelling Tar Heel (2 words)...

but I must admit that the DTH frequently out-performs the local papers on some stories. Look for stories that they don't cover and keep probing the local community for people who might have angles on the issues that go unreported. By the way, I would have out-performed the competition had that DTH editor made the right decision.  

Congrats Sarah! I'm sure you'll continue the innovation Andrew in the new media area, and I'm thrilled to see a city editor ascending as it can only more and better local coverage.The most common reason that I read the DTH is because it has more staff and therefore more coverage than most other local media.  I love that it sometimes has very fresh takes or different perspectives on local issues, but the flip side of that is that some reporters have NO context about what they are reporting on. This leaves sources to educate as well as give interviews to them, and sometimes (but not always) results in stories with inaccuracies. I have been reading the DTH more and more in recent years, and I'm sure that trend will continue. Glad to see all the great energy there!

I don't often read the DTH because I don't usually find myself places where it is available. When I do, I appreciate the fact that reporters are looking at things as "visitors" to town. They take less for granted when reporting on local issues. Of all the local papers, the DTH is more likely to provide a novel perspective. Some are in context and well researched and some IMHO are less so, but I appreciate the effort. I LIKE discovering who the DTH will endorse in local elections and why - even if I disagree. I thought their explanation of the last CH mayoral race was wonderful precisely because they reported the differences, including pros and cons, of each major candidate. Other periodicals have well known positions, even if their position is to not take one, and don't put much energy into asking questions they don't already know the answers to or have an opinion about. It's almost like there is an political etiquette book - what is OK to discuss and in what terms - but the DTH has never read it. Don't start now. 

Thank you so much for your thoughtful responses! Let the conversation continue.   :) 

If you want to connect with The Daily Tar Heel, here are some good people to know:

I recently hired Tori Stilwell to be the City Editor starting in the fall. After working as an Assistant City Editor for a year, she'll now have the opportunity to direct local coverage. She's also up for meeting with or talking to community members who have story ideas or general wisdom throughout the year. Her e-mail is

Sarah Gregory will be our community manager -- the person in charge of making sure the news gets to the people who may care about it, mostly using social media platforms and engaging in conversations on blogs and such. She will also be organizing several community issue forums. Follow @dailytarheel or @saragregory on Twitter or become a fan of The Daily Tar Heel on Facebook. She just created this survey:

Evan Rose, who has been somewhat of a star reporter for us in recent years, is now the public editor. Basically that means he will be bridging the gap between the DTH and the community, turning tensions into constructive conversations. Newspapers have public editors to keep them accountable -- Evan will be putting together a feedback board and writing regular columns to critique and explain our coverage and community complaints. To contact him, e-mail


Of course, you can always talk to me. But these should be helpful contacts.


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