The Daily Northwestern

Weinberg junior Ciara McCarthy named next editor in chief of The Daily

Manuel Rapada, Managing Editor

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Ciara McCarthy will be The Daily’s next editor in chief, the paper’s publisher announced Wednesday.

McCarthy will run the paper during Fall Quarter 2014 and Winter Quarter 2015. She will succeed Medill junior Paulina Firozi.

“She has a really good grasp of what needs to happen with The Daily Northwestern right now,” Firozi said.

Three students submitted applications for The Daily’s top position, evaluating the publication, outlining opportunities for improvement and describing their leadership style.

The board of Students Publishing Co., Inc., The Daily’s parent organization, interviewed the applicants Wednesday afternoon.

“This was a really hard decision,” SPC board chairman Charles Yarnoff said. “These were three outstanding candidates. All had great qualities.”

Yarnoff said the board selected McCarthy because of “the total package” she presented, ranging from her collaborative leadership style to her sense of journalism ethics.

“She had thoughtful and sensitive answers on those kinds of ethical situations,” Yarnoff said.

McCarthy, a Weinberg junior and a Daily managing editor, has also served as city editor and assistant city editor. Last summer, she interned for Slate magazine.

As editor in chief, McCarthy said she wants to make The Daily’s role as the paper of record more apparent to students and Evanston residents. She referenced the football unionization effort and a Medill junior’s sexual assault case as two Daily stories that received national attention.

“We should make it very clear to students and to members of the Evanston community that we are the source to go to,” McCarthy said.

In addition, McCarthy plans to build on the changes Firozi made to improve The Daily’s day-to-day content and work environment. She said she wants to differentiate print and online stories, continuing to innovate beyond the publication’s current multimedia and interactive offerings.

McCarthy brings a similar vision to the role of editor in chief, including a web-first mentality and the importance of accuracy and deadlines, Firozi said. However, McCarthy — who is in her second quarter on The Daily’s Editorial Board — also brings a fresh perspective to running the newsroom.

Admitting she was “nostalgic,” Firozi said she was also hopeful for The Daily’s future with someone who can balance both levity in the newsroom and professionalism when reporting.

“I’m most excited because I’ve seen Ciara grow a lot this quarter as managing editor and become a really great leader in this newsroom,” Firozi said.

Twitter: @manuelrapada