Assistant news editor Hannah Ziegler will be The Diamondback’s next editor in chief, Maryland Media Inc. announced Tuesday.
Ziegler, a junior journalism and information science major, will serve as the editor in chief for the 2023-24 academic year, succeeding Devon Milley. Ziegler will officially take the role on April 16.
She thought about becoming editor in chief when she became an assistant news editor in fall 2022 because of how much she loved being in the newsroom.
“I almost didn’t apply,” Ziegler said. “But I just knew in my heart of hearts that I would do a good job.”
Ziegler has worked for The Diamondback since the end of her freshman year in May 2021. She first covered student admissions and financial aid before writing about state politics and the Maryland General Assembly.
She started her freshman year at Stories Beneath the Shell and contributed to WMUC’s news radio, Weekly RoundUp, and was a producer there before focusing her time on The Diamondback.
Ziegler wanted to come to The Diamondback to write data-driven stories. When she covered student admissions and financial aid, she worked with stories that involved data, such as university admissions and acceptance rates.
Ziegler is a people person and so friendly, Milley said. She creates such a welcoming culture in the newsroom, which is important because The Diamondback spent so much time online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Milley added.
Milley credited Ziegler’s emphasis on helping new writers receive hands-on journalism experience.
“She just brings in so much energy and life into The Diamondback just by being herself,” Milley said. “Hannah is going to teach so many students who walk through these doors.”
Jon Solomon, the board president of Maryland Media, said he really liked her ideas to meet students where they are through social media – particularly to ensure The Diamondback remains relevant to students and the campus community.
“Hannah really stood out in terms of her ability to foster a good culture within the newsroom,” Solomon said. “We’re really excited to see Hannah produce that vision.”
Ziegler was a finalist in the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2022 region two Mark of Excellence Awards for her story on the increase in the price of the University of Maryland’s student health insurance plan. She also played a role in a special issue for The Diamondback’s micromobility guide.
Some priorities Ziegler has for the newsroom is diversifying the people on staff by hiring students outside of the journalism college and expanding The Diamondback’s coverage to make it more collaborative and visual.
“I’m willing to devote the kind of crazy time that an EIC has to devote to the role,” Ziegler said. “If I had to be [in the newsroom] until 1 a.m. everyday, I feel like that would be okay with me.”