North Texas Daily

Letter from the editor: it’s a joy to serve the Daily

Letter from the editor: it’s a joy to serve the Daily

Letter from the editor: it’s a joy to serve the Daily
May 26
11:00 2022

I transferred to the university in the fall of 2020 when we were still in the lonely throes of remote classes and the North Texas Daily was the first place I felt a sense of community at UNT. It has since become a space where I developed as a journalist, learned to challenge myself and met talented coworkers who have become friends and mentors. With three returning editorial board members and five fresh faces, this summer marks a refreshing new beginning for the Daily

News editor Madeleine Moore previously served as a copy editor/designer and design editor. Her ability to see tough tasks through until the very end is an encouragement for everyone in the newsroom.

John Anderson has worn a number of hats at the Daily but I am delighted to see him continue to thrive as visuals editor. His commitment to producing quality visual journalism is evidenced by last semester’s increase in visual content and storytelling.

Returning copy editor/designer Rose Wright joined the editorial board last semester and never faltered in her commitment to the Daily. She works diligently — never afraid to challenge writers and editors by asking tough questions. 

Our new arts & life editor Samantha Thornfelt started as a volunteer news writer in 2021 and worked tirelessly as a senior staff writer last semester. Her initiative and passion for storytelling are vital assets to the team. 

Opinion editor Ayden Runnels has already exhibited a passion for mentorship and helping writers develop. I have no doubts his determination will carry the opinion section to new heights. 

The incredibly talented Erika Sevilla will be leading the illustrations team. She joined this past spring as a volunteer and instantly impressed the staff each week with her consistently impeccable work. 

Finally, our new digital media manager, Norishka Pachot is returning to the Daily for the first time since 2019. Her revitalizing ideas will allow us to elevate our digital presence and more effectively engage with our online audience. 

I am thrilled to witness each editor’s leadership of our volunteer staff this summer. Without our volunteers, none of the content we put out would be possible and I look forward to seeing their growth. 

As always, the Daily is committed to providing our audience with reliable, fair and honest coverage. The editorial team is eager to serve the UNT and Denton communities — our readers are our priority and we are here to serve you. We plan to continue producing top-notch visual content, increase our online accessibility and continue to publish timely, relevant coverage.

My commitment to this publication runs deep. I transferred to the university with the main goal of beginning a path in journalism at the Daily, so serving as editor-in-chief is a humbling and exciting experience for me. Between my professors’ instruction and critiques at weekly Slash meetings, I’ve been exposed to invaluable knowledge.

When I first joined the Daily as a volunteer opinion writer, I was unsure if I had the skills necessary to be a journalist. I never imagined I would spend four semesters as sports copy editor/designer and one as managing editor. This speaks to the crucial role student publications play in developing student journalists’ skills and confidence. 

From past editors-in-chief to section editors to our incomparable faculty advisor Randy Loftis — joining the Daily gave me the resources necessary to learn what quality journalism is. Just a couple of weeks ago, five former editorial board members graduated, and are on to pursue exciting endeavors. It was a bittersweet goodbye because they are all role models to me. 

Former news editor Ileana Garnand never failed to impress me with their AP Style knowledge, unwavering honesty and steadfast ability to mentor news writers. Meanwhile, former opinion editor Kevin Diaz inspired me with his valiant dedication to close reading and giving careful critiques (he always has great movie and book suggestions, too). 

Anvitha Reddy, former arts & life copy editor/designer, joined the editorial board at the same time as me during spring 2021 when operations of the Daily were still partially remote. Back then print nights in the office would be just us copy editors but I’ll always look back on those late nights fondly.

I got to work closely with the former arts & life editor Hannah Johnson for only one semester and the time flew by too fast. She led the section with grace, humility and a sense of humor that always reminded me that it’s okay to let my guard down and relax. 

Former illustrations editor Miranda Thomas was consistent each week and ran her section seemingly effortlessly. She produced informative and quality illustrations each week that truly allowed our publication to stand out.

Last but not least, former Editor-in-Chief Maria Lawson never failed to blow me away with her consistent excellence, and her commitment to learning and growing as a journalist. Those former members of the editorial board played a crucial role in where I am today and I will be tirelessly rooting for them as they navigate the world post-graduation. 

I am immensely grateful for the time I have spent at the Daily so far and I am looking to the future of the publication with great optimism. Journalists are never finished learning, but the importance of student journalism has been cemented for me. The Daily provides a space for student journalists to develop but it also gives us the opportunity to serve you — our readers. Your dedication and support are not taken lightly and we are committed to prioritizing content that matters to you. 

Featured Image: North Texas Daily Editor-in-Chief Rhema Joy Bell poses with the newspaper on May 24, 2022. Photo by John Anderson

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Rhema Joy Bell

Rhema Joy Bell

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