The Daily Tar Heel: Wikis


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The Daily Tar Heel
Front page, April 21, 2006
Front page, April 21, 2006
Type Daily campus newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner DTH Publishing Corporation
Publisher DTH Publishing Corporation
Editor Andrew Dunn
Founded February 23, 1893
Language English (daily)
Spanish (monthly)
Headquarters Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Circulation 20,000
ISSN 1070-9436
Official website

The Daily Tar Heel (commonly referred to as the DTH) is the independent student newspaper of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It was founded on February 23, 1893, and became a daily newspaper in 1929. The paper places a focus on university news and sports, but it also includes heavy coverage of Orange County and North Carolina. It is published five days a week during the school year and weekly during the university's two summer school sessions.




Early history

The newspaper was first published on February 23, 1893, and was originally a four-page weekly tabloid called The Tar Heel. Funded by the campus athletic association, it placed much of its emphasis on campus sports and Greek life.

By 1920, the paper's size had increased to 6 pages, and editor Thomas Wolfe moved to a twice-a-week format. In 1923, it came out from under the auspices of the athletic association and became governed by the Student Publications Union Board, which at the time was in charge of all campus publications. Circulation quadrupled in less than a year, and by 1929, the paper published every day except Monday and changed its name to The Daily Tar Heel. Over time, the paper moved to publishing every day except Sunday. Now publication occurs Monday-Friday every day class is in session during the fall and spring academic semesters and weekly during the summer sessions. The paper publishes a special football-related supplement called DTH SportSaturday on home football game days.

During World War II, publication was scaled back to three times a week.

Post-World War II

In 1946, The Daily Tar Heel returned to daily publication with the goal of becoming, in the words of student editors, "the greatest college newspaper in the world." Page counts were increased thanks to secure campus funding, and the newspaper continued to grow as the university modernized in the 1950s and 1960s.

During the 1970s, student leaders tried to cut the DTH 's funding. After a lengthy court battle, the newspaper won certain concessions: (a) it would, every year, receive 16% of the student activities fee, and (b) it was allowed to form a publishing board outside the auspices of student government, provided that student leaders were granted a number of seats on that board. However, the DTH also was required to have its budget approved each year by Student Congress, which caused further tension.

Seeking to avoid continued interference from student government -- and to settle a nagging tax question with the university -- the paper incorporated in 1989 as an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. In 1993, it voluntarily stopped taking all money from student activities fee and became, for all intents and purposes, an independent publication with 100% control over all editorial and business decisions. That allowed the DTH to begin its current process of allowing a committee of staffers and community members to select the next editor. Previously, the position had been filled in campuswide elections. The first editor selection occurred in 1993.

On November 19, 1994, the DTH became one of the first student papers to publish an on-line edition.

The newspaper today

Front page of the first issue of The Tar Heel, later renamed to The Daily Tar Heel

Today, the Daily Tar Heel circulates 20,000 free copies throughout campus and in the surrounding community -- Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham. Its estimated readership of 39,000 makes it the largest community newspaper in Orange County. Revenues from advertising are self-generated.

The paper employs seven full-time professionals, about 75 paid part-time students, and more than 100 student volunteer writers. The student editor has full control over the editorial content of the paper. Business matters are overseen by a full-time, professional general manager; a board of directors serves as publisher and has final say over matters such as the newspaper's budget.

The paper focuses on campus news (including all varsity sports), but it also features a city desk that covers Orange County as well as a state and national desk that deals with items of interest to the campus community.

In recent years, the DTH has developed a library of online content including videos, pictures, and message boards. These changes have been ongoing in an effort to move towards online journalism. As stated in an online blog post, the most current online editor plans to increase use of Twitter and Facebook as well as developing new features such as searchable maps, podcasts, and more general blogging.[1]

The 2009-10 editor is Andrew Dunn[2]. [1]

Accolades and awards

The DTH is frequently recognized as one of the best college newspapers in the country, named the best college newspaper by The Princeton Review in 2007. The Associated Collegiate Press, for example, regularly rewards it with National Pacemaker Awards for excellence in college journalism. In 2005 the newspaper won Pacemakers for its 2004-05 print and online editions. Most recently, the DTH won the Pacemaker award for 2007-2008. The paper also has won numerous Mark of Excellence awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, and its advertising and business staff is often recognized as the best in the country by College Newspaper Business and Advertising Managers, Inc.

The DTH staff also wins awards in competitions against professional newspapers in North Carolina. Since 2001, the newspaper has won more than a half-dozen awards from the North Carolina Press Association for its photography, newswriting, and design. It has also won more than two dozen first-place advertising awards in its division, which comprises paid dailies with circulations between 15,000 and 34,999. Notably, twice in the last five years the newspaper has placed third in the state in its coverage of higher education -- ahead of professional newspapers in education-rich areas such as Charlotte and Greensboro.


Like many campus publications, The Daily Tar Heel has gained a reputation for being unafraid to push buttons.

Most recently, in the 2005-06 school year, it published a column, by student Jillian Bandes, supporting the racial profiling of Arabs at airports -- a piece that began with the line, "I want all Arabs to be stripped naked and cavity-searched if they get within 100 yards of an airport." A few months later, in the midst of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy, it published a cartoon depicting the Prophet appearing to decry both sides in the debate. Both pieces sparked loud debate on campus, with the DTH 's detractors calling them disrespectful and supporters calling them legitimate expressions of opinion. The column made national headlines and ultimately led to the columnist's dismissal, but officially only for her quoting a source in a manner considered out-of-context. The cartoon was a popular local-news item and prompted a few dozen protesters to stage sit-ins in the DTH newsroom.

Controversy, however, is not limited to one year in the DTH 's history. The famous broadcaster Charles Kuralt, who was DTH editor in 1954, wrote in his book A Life on the Road of being called "a pawn of the Communists" on the floor of the state legislature after the newspaper published a spoof edition critical of Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Later, in the 1970s and 1980s, student editors used the paper's now-defunct front-page quote to agitate many on campus; selections included Nietzsche's "God is dead." In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the paper's editorial board often clashed with students who sought the erection of a freestanding black cultural center on campus. And in 2001, the paper sparked protests by publishing a column by conservative commentator David Horowitz, whose argument against reparations for slavery was seen by some on campus as racist.

Notable alumni


  1. ^ Gregory, Sara. "My plans for next year as the DTH’s managing editor for online". Retrieved 2009-04-20.  
  2. ^


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