Alec Spicer chosen as the Daily’s new editor-in-chief

Alec Spicer chosen as the Daily’s new editor-in-chief

Alec Spicer chosen as the Daily’s new editor-in-chief
April 16
18:50 2018

A committee of 20 faculty, students and university administrators selected current features editor Alec Spicer to be the next editor-in-chief of the North Texas Daily beginning this summer semester and through the fall semester.

Spicer is a broadcast journalism senior who has been on staff since November 2016. Since then, he has been a staff writer for the arts and life section, social media manager, opinion editor (under special circumstances) and features editor.

“The responses [the Daily] has received about the paper being the best it’s ever been makes me want to be able to contribute to that even more,” Spicer said.

Spicer said staff on the editorial board asked him in the fall semester if he would apply to be editor-in-chief for the spring, but he said he wanted more time as a section editor to gain more experience. He said being editor-in-chief one day was not something he thought would ever be his job when he first joined.

Two other current editorial board staffers applied for the position. Current Editor-in-Chief Kayleigh Bywater said Spicer was a great candidate because of his vision for the Daily to improve on multimedia, social media and relationships with other organizations.

Bywater was the features editor when Spicer joined the Daily. She said it has been great to see Spicer’s growth over the last year and a half.

“I think with his ideas, his writing style and his leadership skills, he’s going to make a great [editor-in-chief], and I’m super excited for him,” Bywater said.

Bywater said Spicer has already reached out to organizations like UNT’s chapters of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists to build relationships with them.

“I think the big thing [was he] showed that he was thinking about the future of the Daily — not keeping it just internal but seeing what we can do to expand in the future,” Bywater said  

As editor-in-chief, Spicer said he wants to continue to bring in multimedia content such as turning original content into GIFs and Boomerangs and building on the Daily’s videography.

“I feel like we just started to scratch the surface with what this staff’s capabilities are with multimedia,” Spicer said. “I’m hoping that [with this staff] being under the leadership of someone in broadcast will further what Kayleigh started with video, but I don’t want to just stop at video.”

Spicer said he wants to introduce an interactive aspect to stories on the Daily’s website.

“[With interactive stories] that readers can actually click through, [they can] feel like they’re a part of the story,” Spicer said.

While Spicer was the features editor this semester, he also continued to have access and post on the Daily’s social media profiles, per Bywater’s request. Spicer said he sees the Daily’s social media outreach continuing to grow in the future due to his experience with it.

“I think it’s important that we are on top of [our social media],” Spicer said. “We hadn’t posted on our Instagram in nine months before I took over as social media manager. I really tried hard for the Daily to have more of a presence in the social media arena.”

Spicer is also the most recent Latino individual in the last several terms to serve as editor-in-chief. During his interview, Spicer said he focused on diversity within the staff and the Daily’s coverage.

I want to give more opportunity to other people,” Spicer said. “[I think maybe] being Latino allows me to see things from a different angle than some of my previous editors-in-chief.”

Spicer said he also wants to continue to trend on covering diverse topics. He said one of the concerns the committee brought up is how many news outlets act as echo chambers for the same types of voices.

As the opinion editor, Spicer said he wanted to improve the Daily’s opinion section after seeing comments on Twitter and Facebook about the Daily covering the same perspectives. Then he wanted to do the same for the features section.

“[Diversifying coverage is] how you get the best journalism: when you consider all parties involved,” Spicer said. “We kind of stepped out of the typical features territory this semester. We profiled different politicians — both Democrat politicians and Republican politicians.”

Spicer said he is a very hands-on leader and that his purpose as a journalist and leader is being a good listener.

“I’m much more of a listener than I am a speaker, and that’s no exception [with] my leadership style,” Spicer said. “I think that’s why this job is a good fit for me. I think when you listen and allow your staff and editorial board to give you feedback and make suggestions, that’s when you have your strongest team.”

Featured Image: Alec Spicer. Photo by Sasha Calamaco

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Zaira Perez

Zaira Perez

Senior News Writer

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1 Comment

  1. SJB
    SJB April 18, 12:01

    Congratulations, Alec. You will do a great job.

    Reply to this comment

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