Serving the students and the University community since 1893
The Daily Tar Heel www.dailytarheel.com
Join the best team in college journalism. who we are The Daily Tar Heel is UNC’s independent student newspaper. Founded in 1893, it became a daily newspaper in 1929. The DTH covers University news and sports, as well as Orange County and North Carolina.
MISSION The Daily Tar Heel’s mission is twofold. First, it seeks to serve the state, local and University community by producing timely, balanced, informative coverage that is responsive to our readership and advances the news. Second, it provides future professional journalists the opportunity to learn and experiment with their craft and, ideally, a progressive model for the rapidly changing industry.
The Daily Tar Heel is a nonprofit organization. It stopped taking student fees in 1993 and is fully funded by its advertising revenue, thus making it both fiscally and editorially independent. The student journalists are solely responsible for all content under the direction of the student editor-in-chief. The paper circulates 18,000 free copies each publishing day during the regular academic year to 176 distribution locations throughout campus, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, making it the largest community newspaper in the area with an estimated readership of 38,000.
The editor-in-chief oversees the newsroom and is ultimately responsible for all content. He serves as the public face of the paper. The editor also hires the rest of the staff, which includes the managing editors for newsroom operations and online, the opinion editor and editors for each of the newsroom’s 14 desks.
Arts: Focused on the University but also extending to arts-related coverage in the town and greater Triangle area. City: Chapel Hill, Carrboro and some parts of Orange and Chatham counties. Copy: Edits content, checks facts, writes headlines. Design: Lays out the pages to present the news in attractive, engaging ways. Diversions: Thursday entertainment section focused on local artists. Includes movie and album reviews, columns, calendars and local entertainment news. Editorial board and columnists: Hired at the end of each semester. Writes unsigned board editorials and opinion columns. Features: The lighter side of the news. Profiles, interesting events and other “brights.” Graphics: Creates graphics, illustrations and charts. Investigative team: Oversees special, in-depth projects, especially focused on those that require the use of open records. Multimedia: Brings together different forms of storytelling (photos, words, video, graphics, audio). Online: Produces dailytarheel.com. Photo: Takes and edits pictures. Sports: UNC sports only. State & National: News from the state and the nation that has a local impact, with an emphasis on the UNC system. University: All campus news except sports.
“Regardless of whether people want to get into journalism or are just looking for something to do on the side for fun, the DTH can be the place for all those interests to meet. You can put in as much as you want to get out; if you’re not serious about becoming a serious journalist there’s still a place for you at the DTH — and if you want to become the next editor of the New York Times, well, the DTH is the place to start and to rise in the ranks.”
Come ask questions. All meetings start at 5:30 p.m. in Union 3413. Aug. 27, Sept. 2 Sept. 9.
Questions? contact managing editor for newsroom operations
shannan bowen, worked at the DTH all four years, and served as Investigative Team editor before graduating in 2006. She is a reporter at The Wilmington Star-News.
Q: Do I need any previous experience on a newspaper? A: No. The Daily Tar Heel is a teaching paper, and the editors are ready and willing to help new staff members learn new skills. We will teach you how to do anything on the paper that you want to learn how to do. If you worked for your high school paper or another campus paper you can include some of those clips with your application, but it is not necessary. All applicants will be asked to provide a sample of their work specific to the desks applied for, but it does not have to be a published clip.
Q: What positions are available? A: New staff members can apply to any of the following desks: University, City, State & National, Arts, Features, Sports, Diversions, Copy, Photo, Design, Graphics, Online, Multimedia. Editors, assistant editors, Opinion staffers and Investigative Team reporters are hired at the end the previous year.
Q: What is the time commitment? A: Each desk is structured differently. In most cases, freshman staffers will work one day per week, and others will work
two days per week. Joining the DTH is something you can do in addition to other activities on campus. You will be able to choose your own work days to fit the DTH in with your class schedule. If you work on the news desks (University, City, or State & National) you should come into the office first thing in the morning to get your assignment and begin working. You are expected to update your editors on your story throughout the day.
Q: Will I get the desk I want? A: The application asks you to prioritize your top three desk choices. If you don't get your first choice, and still want to work for that desk at the end of the semester, there's a process for switching desks.
Q: Where is the newsroom? A: The DTH office is located in the back of the FPG Student Union in Suite 2409. Q: Can I join other groups? A: Yes. The DTH does not want to limit your opportunities, although your activities cannot violate the conflict of interest policy. As a general rule, you cannot be a member of Student Government, and you cannot hold a top leadership position in any group. If you have questions about groups you belong to, talk to the editor or a managing editor about your specific case.
The Daily Tar Heel staff application FALL 2009 Fill out this application on a separate sheet of paper and return it to the DTH front office in Suite 2409 of the Student Union. The DTH is organized by desks, and any questions you have would be best answered by the editor of the desk that interests you. If you have general questions, feel free to contact DTH Editor Andrew Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org or newsroom adviser Erica Perel at email@example.com. Learn more about the newspaper and meet the editors at one of three interest meetings: Aug. 27: Student Union Room 3413 at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 2: Student Union Roon 3413 at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 9: Student Union Room 3413 at 5:30 p.m. APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY 5 P.M. ON FRIDAY, SEPT. 11. Newly hired staff will be contacted on an ongoing basis throughout the hiring period. We will post a full list of new staff in the paper’s front office by 8 p.m. SUNDAY, SEPT. 13. Mandatory orientation will be SATURDAY, Sept. 19 at 10 a.m. Name: E-mail: Phone Number: Local Address: Class/Year: Major(s): For a description of each desk, please see the attached page. Which desk, in order of preference, would you like to work for? Please note any special interests you might like to cover. 1. __________________
1. List any past journalism/writing/visual/digital experience, including jobs and classes taken. (This is NOT a requirement — all interested students should apply.) 2. List your extracurricular activities, including jobs and leadership positions, for this semester and the next. Students can be involved with other student groups as long as they follow the conflict of interest policy (see attached). If you need the policy clarified, please contact Editor Andrew Dunn. 3. What qualities, interests, skills, fields of expertise and viewpoints can you offer the DTH? 4. In what areas do you think the DTH can improve? 5. Attach at least one sample of your work. Relevant work samples aren’t a requirement to work here, but can help determine your assignment. If you are applying for the features desk, please attach two to three samples, one of which must be a feature or human-interest story. For other writing desks: If you do not have published work, please include any writing sample, such as an essay. For photo, graphics, design, online or other non-writing desks, include a sample of relevant work. You can include a CD or a Web site url where the work can be found. For the multimedia desk, the sample could include work from any digital storytelling media.
DTH Staff Policies All staff members are required to sign their agreement with these policies before beginning work, and violation of any part of them is grounds for dismissal. Code of Ethics As the primary barons of our area's news and information, we must always mind our public image and the perception the public holds of us. The best way we can ensure that that image is safeguarded and our product is clean is to be unwavering in our stance on ethical decision-making, to make that stance as transparent as possible and to address reader concerns about ethics and all other content decisions. The DTH also follows the Society of Professional Journalistsâ€™ ethical standards, which key on seeking truth and reporting it, minimizing harm, acting independently and being accountable. (INSERT LINK) Our priorities: * We are committed to truth and accuracy. Without accuracy, we lack credibility and readers' trust -- the foundation of our business. We do not plagiarize and unfairly accept others' information as our own. All information we obtain from other sources will be correctly attributed. * We are focused on fair, impartial treatment of readers, sources and advertisers. * We are as open and accountable to our readers as possible. We publish our names and contact information in every day's paper and on our Web site, and we must encourage reader participation and feedback. Especially incumbent upon us is a goal of involving those seldom-heard voices among our community. * We promise to admit when we mess up. When we make a mistake, the only way we can save our credibility is to admit that we made it, apologize and take steps to keep it from happening again. * We are dedicated to suggesting change and call out societal wrongs. Through editorials and clearly labeled commentaries, we add our voice to a public forum that involves and engages as many readers as possible - especially those who disagree with us. * We are not afraid to get involved in our community. Our conflict of interest policy helps guide how we as objective journalists gather the news, but we encourage our employees to become active in charitable and civic activities.
Conflict of Interest Policy Desk editors have the power to fire staff members who violate the Conflict of Interest Policy. Appeals may be made to the editor-in-chief, who is the final arbiter of what constitutes a conflict of interest. * No staff member outside of the opinion section may participate on any of student government's three branches or in any administrative capacity. This includes any student government committees, RHA, Senior Marshals and the CAA. Opinion desk staff are permitted to have a small role in certain borderline organizations, but such involvement must be cleared by the editor-in-chief. * Staff members should not make the news. We offer the following guidelines for our staff: - Don't participate in rallies, protests, demonstrations or controversies. Active and public participation in political events damages the organization's credibility and destroys any chance of defending our stance as being unbiased. - Do not make any public comments or participate in media interviews without talking first to the editor. Staffers will be encouraged to give interviews related to their stories and serve as experts in their fields. - It is acceptable to sign petitions that directly influence the democratic process, e.g. a petition to get a bond referendum on the ballot; however, staff members are prohibited from signing petitions that have the purpose of expressing a particular viewpoint or that have a political agenda.
- While on duty for an assignment, the responsibility to stay out of the action is heightened. - Staff members will remember that online forums are public, too. Do not publish political views on blogs or social networking sites and profiles. This includes the Facebook “causes” application for any partisan causes. In general, avoid showing your hand. Refer to the social media policy as well. - Reporters cannot cover a story where they are friends with or are affiliated with anyone involved in that story. Reporters should be comfortable with their sources but should not go past a source/reporter relationship with anyone involved in that story because it can undermine the credibility of the DTH. Under no circumstances should a reporter interview a roommate or close friend. Refer to the social media policy for more on appropriate online relationships with sources. -Staff members may work for other campus or community publications or news organizations, although duties must not overlap. For example, a University Desk reporter may not cover campus issues for another publication and may not write editorials about University-related topics. Additionally, reporters must understand that working at a publication that takes a clear political stance on issues calls their objectivity as staff members of the DTH into question. As such, staff members are prohibited from working for a publication that has a stated political agenda, eg. The Carolina Review. Refer to the alternate publications policy for more information. * Reporters must always remember to identify themselves as DTH reporters while on assignment. Misrepresenting, or not representing, a reporter's role for an article is not acceptable. * The DTH takes seriously its unbiased stance, and editors must be informed if any staff member takes a prominent leadership position in another campus group. Working at the DTH does not preclude staff members from membership in other campus groups. But we ask that no staff member or editor take on any prominent leadership position in another campus group unless cleared by the editor-in-chief. Though the DTH applauds student involvement in campus activities and organizations, we don't want to put ourselves into the uncomfortable position of relying on members of our own staff as sources for our stories. If a staff member applies for a leadership position that could place him or her at odds with this policy if hired, that staff member must inform his or her editor before submitting the application to avoid the appearance of a conflict. In all circumstances of doubt regarding following this policy, staff members should consult an editor. If any controversy arises, the editor-in-chief will determine the appropriate course of action. * Anyone who works as a columnist, cartoonist, Opinion Editor and/or associate editor is not eligible to concurrently join the staff as a reporter or editor. Members of the opinion staff can become reporters provided that they do not cover stories or sources on which they’ve opined. * During student elections, staff members may not sign any candidate's petition and may not participate in any campaign activities. Furthermore, involvement in social activities with candidates or members of campaigns during student elections is strongly discouraged and can result in probation or termination. Though the DTH does not in any way want to restrict the political thought or social lives of staff members, student election season is a particularly sensitive time on campus, and the DTH, as the only news organization that comprehensively covers the race, must work overtime to be objective. The organization's integrity is compromised not only when staff members express a public preference for a particular candidate but also when staff members fraternize with campaigners and/or candidates during such a pivotal time. * No DTH journalist is for sale. We do not use our positions to gain personal advantages or considerations not available to the general public. For those reasons, we cannot accept gifts or any form of contribution from a source that is not available to the general public. Gifts can take the form of meal payments, gift bags, etc. In all cases, our staff members politely return the gift. * The DTH encourages employees to become involved in community activities and to donate time to civic and charity organizations as long as they are not part of that staffers' primary coverage area. Ethical guidelines should not be regarded as a barrier to being a good citizen in the community, but we must remain steadfast in our objectivity. * The DTH subscribes to a full-disclosure philosophy that asks each staff member to notify his or her desk editor of all affiliations and involvements outside of the paper to help avoid conflicts of interest. Failure to disclose any involvements could result in immediate dismissal from staff. * It is important to remember that conflicts of interest can be avoided by simply using common sense. Staff members must ask themselves: “Does doing/saying this or being here undermine my stance as an objective reporter? Would anyone trust my objectivity less after seeing/hearing me?” Any doubts, questions or concerns should be brought to the attention of the editor-in-chief.
Election Season Policy We do not wish to alienate any politically minded staff members, and we make decisions regarding political activity and campaign materials for the good of the paper. Our rationale is based on the organization's integrity and the need for objectivity and a nonpartisan persona during a particularly heated election season. All staff members, except those who work for the opinion section, should not publicly announce their political beliefs or affiliations. This certainly does not mean that staff members cannot join organizations such as the Young Democrats or the College Republicans (although writers on the State & National Desk cannot do so, per the desk’s specialized conflict of interest policy), it does means that staff members should refrain from endorsing or lobbying for a particular candidate or speaking out publicly on particular issues in even the most mundane of visible ways. Accordingly, we ask that staff members not post their candidate preferences or political views in forums including but not limited to: * Bumper stickers * Stickers, pins, patches, etc. on a staff member’s person or personal effects * AIM profiles or profiles used in comparable programs * E-mail signatures * Personal blogs or social media accounts (see alternate publications and social media policies)
It is acceptable to sign petitions that directly influence the democratic process, e.g. a petition to get a bond referendum on the ballot; however, staff members are prohibited from signing petitions that have the purpose of expressing a particular viewpoint or that have a strong political agenda, such as a petition for a moratorium on the death penalty. We neither desire to nor intend to censor any member of the DTH’s staff -- to do so would be antithetical to the paper’s mission, history and ideals. We like to think of this policy as one of common sense and self-discipline. We want staff members to be able to discuss issues and we don’t naively assume that you are inherently objective. However, we also don’t want staffers with bumper stickers or other materials or staffers with public views to lead people to identify the paper as being in any way partisan. That said, there’s nothing wrong with staff members talking to their friends about politics or with quietly attending campus- or community-based meetings. We do not begrudge anyone his or her beliefs, and we often, in fact, tend to empathize with those who feel strongly about issues. There is, however, a problem with saying or doing things in such a manner that you reveal staff members' hands. We’d like to avoid that.
I have read and understand these policies and agree to work by them: