First place for general excellence among weekly papers from schools with more than 4,000 students. First place for in-depth reporting for stories on last year's NATO Summit. First place for excellence in column writing. Recognition for excellence in writing and photography. Among contenders for the 2012 awards from the Illinois College Press Association, the DePaulia was the champ.
“The DePaulia was up against some heavy hitters — the school papers of Loyola, Bradley, Roosevelt, Columbia, SIU-Edwardsville, UI-Springfield, Lewis, and others — so this is quite an accomplishment for our students,” says Marla Krause, faculty advisor for the paper and an instructor in the College of Communication.
"We won because the DePaulia is really well-rounded, from front to back. We don’t have just one or two strong sections — every section is terrific, with a beautiful layout, too. The students find a way to bring what’s going on in the world into DePaul. From page one to 28, there’s something for everyone.”
Michael Corio (BA ’14), currently the paper’s managing editor, says he enjoys the pace, the process, and the product: “A lot of hard work goes into the paper, but I like being a witness to what goes on in the world and at DePaul. When something happens, we’re the first to know, and that’s exciting. Content makes a paper ‘good’ and we’re really strong there — among our peer papers, the DePaulia has the most comprehensive coverage of nation and world news, arts and life, and sports. That’s what makes our paper stand out. Being acknowledged is icing on the cake.”
More than a student job
“The DePaulia is a real team effort — about a dozen students put out the paper, week after week — they really work hard and they work well together," says Krause. "I’m so proud of them. Of course, when I sent the editor a congratulatory e-mail, at the end of my note was the question. ‘What do we have for next week’s paper?’ That’s journalism, and these kids ‘get’ it.”
Cheryl Waity (MA ’12) , currently a freelance journalist and part-time, local news reporter for a Chicago suburban paper, worked on the DePaulia for five years, beginning as a reporter, then taking on the roles of news editor, managing editor, editor-in-chief, and sports editor: “This experience defined my college career — for five years I worked everything else in my life around the DePaulia — it was the most important thing to me. In my many jobs with the paper, I gained experience, not just in writing but also in editing and production. Now, I have a full and well-rounded idea of how a newspaper is put together.”
Elizabeth Schuetz (MA ’13), currently the DePaulia editor-in-chief, echoes the same sentiment: “I would not have traded this experience for anything else. Working on the DePaulia is not a 24/7 commitment, but it’s almost that: we’re always checking our phones, always keeping up with emails, the editors and writers are always keeping in touch with each other. When stuff happens, we’re ready — we’ve all learned to manage our time really, really well! Also, working on the DePaulia has been a great opportunity to make friends and to be introduced to people in the university I never would’ve met any other way. I couldn’t have been luckier!”
Corio says that putting together the paper is more than a job for the student staff: “We’re a community, almost like a family, and I appreciate that. We have fun doing this!” Waity credits this feeling for the success of the paper: “Working with the other students, I always wanted to do well by them. When you are doing something because you love it, and when everyone around you feels the same, you try harder and you put out a better product. The 2012 awards validate that.”