Sophomore Jack Haley takes on top spot in Elon News Network

Haley is focused on learning the various roles of the newsroom so he is more equipped to lend a helping hand. 

by Julia Oakes ’22

When Jack Haley ’21 was elected executive director of Elon News Network, he knew that leading the organization as a sophomore would have its challenges. Among them: how to earn the respect of the newsroom, especially the staff’s upperclassmen.

Jack Haley '21 hopes to use his growing skill set to keep Elon News Network moving in an upward direction.
So Haley has found himself learning and adapting to the ins and outs of various ENN roles, mastering tasks like page design, television production and photography. Haley, no pun intended, said he hopes to be a true “jack of all trades,” who can make tasks “a little bit smoother in the newsroom so people don’t feel so overwhelmed.”

On paper, though, Haley said his new position is one of general oversight and administration. He also maintains the website and ensures that content is regularly updated and appealing to ENN’s audience, while simultaneously making sure that “it’s as visually appealing as the content is good.”

The responsibility Haley loves the most is interacting with so many different people – his staff, community members and sources – which was a benefit Haley learned to enjoy as sports director last year. Now as executive director, Haley will be responsible for upholding a similar, if not increased, level of communication with the staff.

“Really getting the chance to work with people on a personal level and try to make their lives just a little bit easier is kind of what attracted me to the role,” Haley said.

But Haley knows there’s obvious room for him to grow, and he plans to lean on the students at ENN who boast more years of experience.

“I want to listen, I want to learn, and I want to use the seniors and upperclassmen around me as a tool to really get a feel for the newsroom, and use their wisdom in dealing with different personalities in the newsroom,” Haley said.

Fortunately, Haley has received tremendous support and guidance from incoming ENN managing editor Anton Delgado ’20 and incoming ENN news director Grace Morris ’20, whose experiences have inspired Haley’s decision making.

As the leader of an organization, Haley said it is not only crucial to understand the logistics of individual positions, but also the challenges the organization faces.

Since joining ENN, Haley said he has seen the organization shift its focus from its people to its content. As a result, he believes the students who work in the newsroom sometimes don’t feel valued or passionate about their work. And so he wants to move the organization’s center back to the students who keep it operating.

“If people are excited to be there and passionate about what they do, I truly do think the organization will feel a little better,” he said.

During his time in the organization, Haley has also recognized the importance of repairing some of the “burned bridges” between ENN and other organizations, as he believes it is imperative to earn the respect and trust of those in the community.

“I know Elon News Network is a fairly polarizing organization on campus,” Haley said. “People feel pretty strongly one way or another about us.”

Haley also wants to ensure that the organization continues to provide equal opportunity for members of the community to share their stories, which Haley said is “not only a tenet of journalism, but really important to have that connection to the community.”