Medill junior Marissa Martinez named The Daily’s next editor in chief

Gabby Birenbaum and Andrea Bian

Marissa Martinez was named the editor in chief of The Daily Northwestern, the paper’s publisher announced Wednesday night.

The Medill junior is currently a print managing editor and diversity and inclusion editor for The Daily. She had previously served another quarter as print managing editor, summer editor, two quarters as opinion editor and two quarters as diversity and inclusion editor, having founded the position. Martinez, who joined The Daily during fall of her freshman year, will be a features intern at The Minneapolis Star-Tribune and take part in the 2020 class of the Politico Journalism Institute this summer.

Martinez said she is looking forward to building on the progress The Daily has made in the time she’s been a staffer in increasing multimedia projects and new print and design endeavors. Her biggest priority is increasing diversity in a number of key areas of The Daily’s coverage, including continuing the work staffers have done towards achieving racial and gender equity, putting more resources toward LGBTQ+ and disabled coverage and increasing the language diversity of the staff and of sources.

“It doesn’t just mean going to more events,” Martinez said. “For me, it means listening to different communities on campus and in the city to get more diverse sources and story ideas.”

The Chicagoland native will assume the position for Spring and Fall Quarter.

Martinez will succeed Medill senior Troy Closson, who has held the position for the past two quarters. He said he’s excited to see what Martinez accomplishes during her time in the role, since she’s already made such an impact on staff.

“From innovative ideas for coverage and supporting staff members through concerns to pushing our staff to consider diversity and inclusion in everything we do,” Closson said, “Marissa’s had such a critical role at The Daily — and I can’t wait to see where she takes the newsroom over the next two quarters.”

Martinez said the “amazing” editors in chief she’s worked under, including Closson, inspired her to apply. Earning the position allowed her to reflect on the work her predecessors have done and all she’s learned from them.

Looking forward, she said she wants readers to know the paper is always evolving.

“While we’ve made mistakes in the past, we are constantly growing as students and journalists,” Martinez said. “We want to continue to serve the Northwestern and Evanston communities in the best way possible, meaning we’re still, as always, focused on fair, accurate and inclusive representation of all groups — and my door is always open for communication.”

Ella Brockway and Samantha Handler contributed reporting.

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