UNC newspaper editor on emotional front page featuring messages sent during shooting

Emmy Martin:

So, on Monday, I was in lockdown myself. And we were planning to go ahead with a paper fully focused on the upcoming football season at UNC.

And, of course, when this happened, we knew that is not the way to go. We fully scrapped the paper we had planned and we knew, this is such a traumatic event on campus, we have to cover it. As soon as I got out of lockdown — I was in a campus building a couple buildings over from where the shooting occurred — I walked straight to the newsroom and sat down with my staff.

And we kind of talked through what this looks like. And, at first, we didn’t know what the cover would be. Honestly, at first, we thought just a blank front page. There’s no words after such a traumatic event for students. But then, that evening, I went home,was laying in bed, looking at all the text messages that I personally had received, while I was sheltering in place, and also looking at Instagram, and seeing so many UNC students post texts that they received, or that they sent to friends who were also in lockdown.

And I — that’s what I knew, if at least I was getting these texts, every single person campus got a “Are you OK, are you safe?” message. And so that’s when I knew that had to be our cover.

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