Managing editor Zoe Pierce will be The Diamondback’s next editor in chief, the publication’s parent company announced Thursday evening.
The senior journalism and cinema and media studies major will serve as editor in chief for the spring semester following current editor in chief Angela Mecca’s graduation in December — the first time in around 30 years that an editor in chief has served for only one semester. Pierce will officially assume the role the week of Nov. 21.
Pierce joined The Diamondback in September 2019 as a copy editor. She rose through the ranks to copy chief, then assistant managing editor and then managing editor.
Initially, Pierce did not think she would ever be editor in chief. However, she changed her mind all of a sudden — she wanted to do it.
“I didn’t know that it’s something I wanted to do until recently,” she said. “When I started thinking about it, I couldn’t really stop thinking about it.”
In her current role, Pierce works editing shifts four nights a week. She’s familiar with how The Diamondback runs, Mecca said.
“Zoe is a phenomenal leader,” Mecca said. “She’s worked with a lot of different desks, which is really, really helpful … she doesn’t have just one niche area.”
Jon Solomon, president of Maryland Media Inc., The Diamondback’s parent company, said Pierce’s management experience is beneficial. He added that since the editor in chief role is split up over the course of a year, it’s important to have continuity.
“She’s been the managing editor and can seamlessly move into the editor in chief position,” he said. “We really think highly of Zoe and her ability to transition right away.”
Pierce has been working on creating a new stylebook — a document containing the rules and examples of different word choices and structures used in a publication’s content — for The Diamondback, a process started by former editor in chief, Daisy Grant.
Pierce wants to update the guide to make its content more appropriate, especially with changes that may be more sensitive. For example, for making a style change about students with disabilities, she wants to get input from students with disabilities to see how they want The Diamondback’s reporting to look, she said.
“[We want to] make sure that we’re in tune with national conversations and consulting different groups of people who are relevant to this conversation,” Pierce said.
As The Diamondback’s new editor in chief, Pierce wants to ensure that the publication’s editing and reporting is “dynamic.”
She said that as a student publication, The Diamondback has more freedom to incorporate changes at a fast pace.
“I want to make sure … we continue to be student journalists and continue learning, and that we give each other grace in that learning and while also holding the higher standard that others have set for The Diamondback,” she said.
Pierce also wants to continue to expand The Diamondback’s diversity and representation, both in terms of its newsroom and the stories it covers. She plans to work with The Diamondback’s equity committee to improve this.
“We have talked a lot about the best way to diversify our newsroom, because right now … as far as I understand, it’s not representative of the university, and we need it to reflect our coverage zone,” she said.