Holding journalistic standards higher than his own pants, third-year political science major David Ferry was elected as the Daily Nexus’s newest editor in chief on Friday.
Following a staff election in which Ferry ran for the position without any competition, the new editor in chief was approved by the UCSB Press Council, an entity commissioned by the chancellor that oversees the Nexus budget and acts as mediator during times of high controversy.
Ferry, who served as the county news editor this past year, has worked at the Nexus for the past three years covering Isla Vista and Santa Barbara news. As editor in chief, Ferry said he will continue improving the newspaper’s design.
“I have enjoyed how clean the Nexus appears,” Ferry said. “Next year, we’re going to expand creatively. I hesitate to use the term ‘visual storytelling.’ … but it would be wonderful if when you were staring blankly at this piece of paper in class, it were pretty.”
Recently, the Nexus fended off a number of subpoenas for its unpublished photographs, a trend that has also affected such local publications as the Independent and the Daily Sound. Ferry said outgoing EIC Nick Dürnhöfer’s recruitment of lawyers willing to work without compensation was a good model to follow, should he face similar issues during his tenure.
“As members of the free press, we’re not about to give in to subpoenas and pressure,” Ferry said. “God bless pro-bono lawyers.”
The EIC-elect also said he has plans for maintaining the publication’s standing in the community. One example is his strategy on communicating with Associated Students, an organization with which the Nexus has sometimes had tension.
“I’m going to enact a policy of getting a beer — once I turn 21, of course — with the A.S. president next year,” Ferry said. “However, I think our contentious relationship with A.S. is one of the best parts about us. It ensures that we play the role of watchdog.”
The election comes after a long career that began when Ferry joined the paper as a freshman reporter for the county news desk in 2004. His talents made him a shoe-in as assistant editor, and after spending Fall Quarter abroad in London, he took over the position of county news editor, which was vacated by current Nexus sex columnist Dana Olsen.
However, Ferry’s ascendancy was not assured. During the staff vote, two dark horse candidates emerged as write-in votes — a Subway sandwich and this reporter — both of whom tied for second place.
“If the delicious five-dollar foot-long Subway sandwich, which is somehow more qualified than I am, had won, I would have eaten it bitterly and then walked out forever,” Ferry said.
Electoral issues aside, Dürnhöfer said he has confidence that Ferry is more than qualified to carry the campus institution into the future.
“I am very eager to see what David Ferry will do next year,” Dürnhöfer said. “I believe he has a very creative mind, and will handle the unique situations that arise at a newspaper with the utmost care and professionalism. Now, if only he would pull up those pants.”
This year’s county news assistant Travis Miller said he agrees with Dürnhöfer’s assessment.
“David has always shown a great interest in what he does, and seems to have a genuine interest in making the paper the best it can be,” Miller said.
Indeed, Ferry said he plans to ensure the concerns of the UCSB community are heard, while simultaneously quashing internal dissent with authoritarian efficiency.
“My office door will always be open,” Ferry said. “We’d also love to have diverse members of the community on the staff. As to the people who already work here, I’m looking forward to abusing my newfound powers.”