Daniel Wei ’25 has never been one to shy away from a challenge.
As a rising sophomore at the University of North Carolina, he set his sights on the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, a program in which less than half of those who apply are accepted.
With such a goal in sight, he never imagined that he’d find himself at the intersection of journalism and business. But now, as an intern for the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media, he’s focused on learning about ways to make journalism businesses stronger.
“Business and journalism need each other to co-exist,” Wei said. “ They need each other to thrive.”
With an understanding of both fields, he is spending his internship writing case studies of local news organizations that are reinventing the news business model, to share with a broader audience.
“News organizations need revenue to keep paying their workers but national corporations are buying them up and downsizing outlets,” he said. “This really dilutes the quality of local coverage.”
His start in journalism, like many other students, began with his introduction to the local student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel. Although he had not initially considered journalism as an area of interest, Wei was intrigued by the prospect of covering local sports and applied — landing his first job as a writer for the Sports Desk.
“Daniel’s committed to producing the highest quality of work,” said Evan Rogers, senior writer for the sports desk at The Daily Tar Heel. “He’s the first in the room to volunteer for an assignment or help out with an article.”
PJ Morales, 2021-22 sports desk editor at The Daily Tar Heel, shared similar sentiments.
“You won’t find anyone more enthusiastic about what they do than Daniel,” Morales said. “It could be the night before a game is happening, and if you ask Daniel to cover it, the only thing he’ll ask is how long the story should be.”