Medill junior Isabelle Sarraf named The Daily’s next editor in chief

Haley Fuller and Jacob Fulton

Isabelle Sarraf was named the next editor in chief of The Daily Northwestern, the paper’s publisher announced Tuesday night. 

Sarraf, a Medill junior, is currently a print managing editor and a diversity and inclusion chair for The Daily. She has previously served as campus editor, summer copy chief and development and recruitment editor. 

The Great Neck, N.Y. native has previously interned for Backstage and spent this past winter on her journalism residency at the Chicago Sun-Times.

As editor in chief, Sarraf said she plans to be intentional about listening to The Daily’s readers and considering their priorities throughout the publication’s coverage. 

“A big thing that I’ve tried to do my entire time at The Daily is to be the person that goes out of their way to actually listen to our readers and refocus my coverage around what our readers want to read,” Sarraf said. “I want to have a better, more approachable and accessible presence for the Evanston and Northwestern communities.”

John Byrne, the chair of Students Publishing Co., said the board looks forward to seeing Sarraf increase The Daily’s digital presence and continue to cover the needs of the communities the publication serves.

“We think that Isabelle is going to be a terrific editor in chief,” Byrne said. “She has great ideas to keep moving The Daily into a future that includes an emphasis on digital delivery of our award-winning coverage of Northwestern and the city of Evanston.”

Sarraf will hold the position during Fall Quarter 2021 and Winter Quarter 2022. She succeeds current editor in chief Sneha Dey, who led the paper in Winter and Spring Quarter 2021. 

Sarraf’s tenure will begin as the paper looks to transition back to an in-person newsroom. While she is excited to return to The Daily’s home in Norris University Center, Sarraf said she hopes to integrate the advantages of the remote newsroom within the paper’s existing editing and reporting processes.

Dey, a Medill junior, said she is excited to pass the torch to Sarraf, the third consecutive woman of color at the top of the masthead, and fifth consecutive editor in chief of color. She said Sarraf is more than prepared to address the issues the paper is currently facing. 

“Isabelle has shown so much care for Daily staffers and for the newsroom,” Dey said. “I am really happy to see her lead and see what she does with the role, since she’s already had such a significant impact so far.”

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Twitter: @haley_fuller_, @jacobnfulton