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Campus Celeb: Nicole Comparato

When Nicole Comparato, a junior broadcast journalism and political science double major, left Boca Raton to “get out of Florida,” she ended up at UNC, her twin sister in tow. She joined The Daily Tar Heel as a freshman and worked her way up to her current position as the University Desk editor, in which she often works more than eight hours a day (but we all know you don’t win awards from the North Carolina Press Association by slacking).  Nicole was also recently selected the 2013-2014 editor-in-chief — not a bad way to start off your 21st year, huh?

HC: You’re next year’s editor-in-chief.  Congratulations!  Were you surprised?  

NC: I was very happy.  There were two other candidates, and we had an extensive interview process.  It was definitely a great reward to be selected as editor.  I’ve worked for three years at the DTH, and I’ve loved every minute of it, so I’m really excited to lead at a higher level next year..  

HC: Of course!  Do you think next year be especially challenging for the DTH?  

NC: There are so many changes happening to the university right now, and to the state, as well.  We’ll have a new chancellor and a new provost coming in; there’s a new governor coming in…all these different things that affect our university, and so I think it’ll be a challenge to rebuild source relationships that we’ve been used to for the past 3 years, and basically move forward with the DTH.

HC: If you could accomplish one big goal next year, what would you hope it could be?  

NC: I would love to just revamp our online presence and get something functioning so we can show that we’re on the same level as professional newspapers in the way that our readers need and want.  We’re trying to increase multimedia, the way our website functions, the way we’re interacting with audiences. I think there’ll be several challenges, but I’m really looking forward to taking them on.

HC: What do you think is the best and worst part of working at the DTH, including the challenges of being the University editor in a controversial time?  

NC: I think the best part is just everything I’ve gotten to learn.  I’ve learned everything I know — or most of what I know — through the DTH.  I came in very inexperienced.  I had no journalism experience at all. Everything I learned in the field — reporting, interviewing people, writing stories.  

I think what I love most about the DTH is that we have the ability to be a teaching paper, and what I love most about being the University editor is watching my staff grow and get better and being able to assign them harder stories because I know they can handle it.  

I think the most difficult part of it is the time commitment that the DTH requires, but I think that if you’re really in love with what you’re do, the time commitment isn’t anything that would stop you.  It comes with it and you have to accept that and get used to it.  I enjoy every minute of it, but it’s a lot, it really is.

HC: Exactly. So in the little free time that you do have, do you have any other hobbies or passions?  

NC: Well, I guess in terms of free time…well, let’s see!  I love hanging out with my friends and I love playing sports.  Any time I’m free and able to play volleyball on a random afternoon, which is rare, I love doing that.  

I’m also a huge UNC basketball fan.  There’s a running joke that my sister and I are “the riser twins,” because we always stand in the front row at basketball games.  I’d say I dedicate a lot of my time to being a UNC fan.  

In terms of schoolwork, though, I’m also a broadcast major, so I‘m really interested in being a broadcast journalist when I grow up — which is kind of interesting, because I don’t think a lot of DTH editors take that path. You would assume that they’d go into newspapers.  But I love broadcast, so I spend a lot of my time outside the DTH working on my broadcast classes and making packages and things like that.  But there’s really not a lot of free time, so I try to enjoy the free time that I do have.

HC: Aren’t we all?  Anything random or interesting facts about you?  

NC: Well, I have an identical twin, Paige, and that’s pretty big.  That’s a lot of who I am — that there’s two of me.  She’s my roommate right now.  We wanted to go to the same school together because we’re very close.

 

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Sarah Ang

Chapel Hill

Sarah Ang is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying journalism and English. She writes about the arts at The Daily Tar Heel, reads too much, and strives to remember that life isn’t as complicated as we make it out to be.
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