North Texas Daily

Letter from the editor: an ‘arts and life’ well lived

Letter from the editor: an ‘arts and life’ well lived

Letter from the editor: an ‘arts and life’ well lived
May 05
12:14 2022

I didn’t think it was possible to learn this much in one semester. From the publication of my first letter from the editor on Jan. 27 to now, the North Texas Daily has indeed seen the promised growth and consistent content I mentioned, and I’m confident in saying the rest of the staff feels the same way. 

Starting with our news presence, news editor Ileana Garnand has led the news section with grace, patience and top-notch coverage of the on campus and Denton community. Some of my favorite coverage this semester was from the protests regarding the safety of the trans community on campus. We had 30 reporters on the scene putting their reporting, photo and video skills to the test at a moment’s notice. Local and state-wide news outlets turned to us for information and photos regarding the events, and with that, never forget that student journalism is real journalism. 

The news presence didn’t stop there, though. We’ve remained consistent by covering campus events such as the future elimination of the dance department, fair coverage of the Student Government Association election and the local aspect of the conflict in Ukraine

Moving onto arts and life, section editor Hannah Johnson stepped into this role this semester beautifully. I watched her mentor writers, cover events and put together stories for The Dose at a moment’s notice, and I’m incredibly proud of the growth I’ve seen in her since she started with the Daily just under a year ago. 

The Daily also got press credentials to cover South by Southwest for the first time since 2019 (thanks, COVID-19) for our arts and life section. We brought three of our editorial board members and produced written and multimedia coverage while learning to navigate Austin from a journalistic lens. 

Our sports coverage didn’t skip a beat either, led by the talented sports editor and deputy sports editor John Fields and Reed Smith, respectively. Our sports team was smaller than the other sections, but they didn’t skip a beat. We saw consistent softball coverage, features on club sports and even highlight both of our basketball teams earning top two seeds at the Conference USA tournament. 

Last but certainly not least, we have our opinion section. Opinion editor Kevin Diaz knocked some brilliant editorials out of the park while also leading the opinion staff to become better writers. Go give this semester’s opinion pieces a read to stay informed on national and local issues with various perspectives. 

Our visuals editor John Anderson was new to the position this semester, but looking at his work, you wouldn’t be able to tell. He put together multiple photo galleries and took photos with little-to-no notice — all while producing wonderful photos with utmost flexibility. We can also thank illustrations editor Miranda Thomas for leading and producing incredible illustrations. Visuals can make or break a story, and the illustration team has consistently brought our storytelling to the next level.

Now, a big thank you to the women who made print issues possible and make them look as great as it does each week: our copy editors/designers. The covers for our print issues each week have been creative and informative, and we have design editor Maddie Moore to thank for that. She has been dependable and trustworthy, teaching me how to be an effective designer (with patience) while also making my visions a reality. 

The rest of our copy editors/designers, Kelly Tran, Anvitha Reddy and Rose Wright, all put together multiple clean designs that elevated stories beyond just their words. They amaze me each week with what they’re able to put together and I’m proud of the innovation they bring to our publication. Another integral member of our editorial board is Michelle Monari, who serves as our digital media manager and is responsible for getting each story up on social media in a timely manner and putting together our weekly newsletter, which she did perfectly. 

I certainly did not forget about our managing editor and my right-hand woman, Rhema Joy Bell. I am very proud to pass the editor-in-chief torch to her, and she will be leading the Daily through the summer and fall semesters. I’ve had the honor of working alongside her on the editorial board for four semesters now and being her co-intern for Central Track this semester. I know she will lead the Daily in an innovative way and I will always be rooting for her and the staff she brings on. 

Also, a big shoutout to all of our volunteers and paid writers who turn in stories every week. Without you, we wouldn’t have the content to produce a paper, and your dedication will take you a long way. I hope to see all of your names on the editorial board in the near future.

To our faculty adviser, Randy Loftis, thank you for your mentorship, support and guidance. Each of us has learned so much from him, and his perspective has helped the Daily navigate some difficult topics that we hadn’t seen as student journalists. 

Very importantly, thank you to our readers. I can brag about the staff all day, but we wouldn’t have content to put out if it wasn’t for all of you. We could not be more appreciative for your consistent support, and we hope we met your standards. A special shoutout to one of our most dedicated readers Kiara St. Clair, the former editor-in-chief who has provided immense support all semester. She was beyond helpful through any technical difficulties and last-minute questions throughout the semester. 

I still haven’t fully come to terms with the fact that my time at UNT will be done in just a little over a week. With that, I’m excited to announce that I’ve accepted a full-time position at People Newspapers, a D Magazine partner, as the digital and deputy editor starting May 16. Although I’m sad to end my time at the Daily, I’m excited to see what the next chapter brings — and keep in touch if you’re interested in all things Park Cities and Preston Hollow. 

I’m so thankful for the three years I’ve spent with the Daily, and I thank this publication for teaching me a majority of what I know about journalism. To the editorial board, thank you, and I hope I get a chance to work with each of you in the future. I’m going to miss our Tuesday night laughs, roasts and overhearing my favorite comedy bit (thanks Kevin and Rose). I know each of you will do big things. 

Featured Image: Editor-in-Chief Maria Lawson interviews Tribe Mafia at SXSW on March 17, 2022. Photo by John Anderson

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Maria Lawson

Maria Lawson

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