North Texas Daily

Letter from the Editor: How the “Daily” will continue

Letter from the Editor: How the “Daily” will continue

Letter from the Editor: How the “Daily” will continue
March 26
09:00 2020

I walked into this job knowing full well that it would present me with new and interesting challenges. Every semester that I’ve been on staff at the North Texas Daily, challenges have been presented to the leadership here.

But wow, does it feel like I won the bad luck lottery.

The Daily is presented with a massive challenge: Continue to provide quality reporting for Denton and the UNT community despite the spread and reactions to the outbreak of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). Since the school shut down all in-person classes and warned against mass gatherings, the amount of events we can cover has shrunk. Our reporters, being the responsible citizens they are, are interested in practicing social distancing and some have returned home for a more financially-secure existence.

But the show goes on. The Daily will not be running print publications — with the exception of special publications — for the remainder of the semester. With no students on campus, we couldn’t justify the expenses. We will, however, continue to upload virtual editions of the Daily in an effort to showcase the amazing work our designers, photographers and illustrators do.

We’ve agreed that it is important we continue to produce content for our community, whether related to coronavirus or not, and that’s what we’ll do. Life has changed and we’re hard-pressed to continue some of the coverage we’ve had in the past, but we’ll be adapting. You can read a letter from our sports editor, Matt Suarez, about how he’s dealing with the changes to the sports world so far.

We don’t have all the answers right now, but we’re doing our best to figure it out as we go. Luckily, a few sections are unaffected by this news. We will continue to produce as much relevant content for the Dose and Opinion sections as we have this entire semester. The bulk of our content from here on out will come from these two sections and News.

Our staff has done a spectacular job covering everything that has happened in the past week (it’s felt like a year). I’d like to take this time to brag on a few of them. Our news editor Lizzy Spangler has had breaking news thrown at her nonstop and has handled it with grace and delegated like a true leader. Senior staff reporter Brooke Colombo has definitely outwritten her share of the news section and I couldn’t be happier with the content she’s producing. Our copy editors have stepped up and written and edited pieces outside of their regular sections and it’s that kind of dedication to the newsgathering process that I see and admire in this team.

On March 13, UNT announced it will not offer refunds for students leaving on-campus housing. Six days later, the Daily ran an editorial condemning UNT for being apathetic. The next day, March 20, UNT reversed course, announcing prorated refunds. I don’t mean to attribute total causation for the reversal on the Daily, but if that isn’t an example of editorial writing producing a change, I can’t think of one. If there’s ever a time to support student journalism, it’s right now.

Yes, the “media” is covering the outbreak closely. That does not mean that outlets are fearmongering. You shouldn’t ignore the high publicity because you think it is being blown out of proportion. Please, follow the news and only share trusted sources. If you see something that seems too outrageous to believe, make sure it wasn’t posted by The Onion or other satirical publications.

The only thing we can do as a nation is do our part and be responsible. Wash your hands, stay in your house unless it’s absolutely necessary to go outside, practice social distancing and, most importantly, stay informed and civil. Stop buying all the toilet paper, please.

Featured Image: Editor-In-Chief Zachary Cottam poses for a portrait in his office on Jan 12, 2020. Image by Ricardo Vazquez Garcia

About Author

Zachary Cottam

Zachary Cottam

Zachary Cottam is the Sports Editor for the North Texas Daily.

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