UC Berkeley junior Sarah Harris has been elected as the editor in chief, or EIC, of The Daily Californian for the 2020-21 school year.
Harris first joined the Daily Cal the spring semester of her freshman year in 2018 and has remained a member of the multimedia department, taking on the role of multimedia editor in fall 2019. Currently, Harris serves as the chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.
“The Daily Cal is something that is very important to me,” Harris said. “I want to make change and contribute to the current quality and friendly newsroom while also giving my best effort to all these people that I have gotten to know.”
According to spring 2020 EIC Josh Yuen, Harris is a very versatile, professional and respected person in the Daily Cal office. Yuen said he is confident that, with her multimedia background, Harris can facilitate the newspaper’s transition into a more digital newsroom.
Staff representative Saya Abney also described Harris’ commitment and ability to enact change with her dedication.
“She’s very well qualified and will handle this job spectacularly” Abney said. “She has a lot of people giving her great advice for the position she’s going to be in.”
As the next EIC, Harris intends to use her experience with video production to increase the Daily Cal’s online presence, as a lot of the media is moving online. Although print paper remains important, Harris noted that she hopes to strengthen audience interaction in other forms of media, including videos.
Harris’ goals include working on diversity, inclusion and retention. According to Harris, diversity will not only improve the Daily Cal’s workplace climate, but also extend onto the UC Berkeley campus and into the city.
“The Daily Cal is a place that attracts talented creatives who want to make an impact,” said managing publisher Corey Hu in an email, giving advice to Harris. “Find them across the hierarchy and give them the freedom to lead and disrupt and sometimes fail. Empower them with an environment to thrive and excellence will follow.”
According to both Hu and Yuen, some challenges the next EIC will face include working around the uncertainty of the COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, pandemic, managing the newspaper’s declining budget and increasing online readership and social media presence.
Managing Editor Sakura Cannestra noted that some may be hesitant to accept an upper management position in the Daily Cal, as they need to be informed on everything and embrace major responsibility. Cannestra emphasized that the leader must have faith in themselves and trust that everyone else has faith in them.
“Expect the unexpected and be flexible and willing to adjust,” Yuen advises Harris. “As EIC, you have the opportunity to work with a really great group of people and accomplish a really great thing.”