I am proud to live in Chapel Hill, the home of UNC and it’s campus newspaper The Daily Tar Heel. As soon as they got elected to their new editorial and managerial positions a couple of months ago, Sara Gregory, Emily Stephenson, Andrew Dunn and the rest of the crew opened up new channels of communication, including a Twitter account and a Facebook page. Did they use those to broadcast how brilliant they are and what great ideas they have in their heads? No, they used them to ask, ask, ask and to listen, listen, listen. Within days they organized an open-door meeting, inviting people from UNC and Chapel Hill communities to come and tell them how they see the campus paper evolve.
The result, a couple of months later, is a brand new newspaper. Last night they unveiled a brand new website. But it’s not just a spiffy website – that would be too cosmetic. It is a very different approach to journalism, much more attuned to the new media ecosystem.
Read their introduction – there are some new ways of doing things there. For example, they understand the ‘Ethic of the Link’:
We started putting links in some of our stories over the summer. This semester we plan to link in all our stories. Our theory with linking is this: We aim to offer you the best news possible. But if someone else does it better, we owe it to you to share with you. Reporters writing for many of our blogs will also be using Publish2 to share links of what they’re reading.
They understand the role of the community and having it involved:
We know we can’t be everywhere, and we want you to share your college experience with us. You can send us photos or story ideas the following ways:
* E-mail Emily Stephenson.
* Post to our Facebook page. You can post photos or write on our wall.
* Tweet to @dailytarheel, @dthbreak or @ewstephe. Include #UNC or #dthcampuspics.
* Post photos to Flickr and tag them with #dthcampuspics.
They are using their new blogs and the social networks very well and I am looking forward to see what they do over the next year: