Daily Histories: 1990 VISIONS profile

Celebrating the Iowa State Daily‘s centennial, the ISU Alumni Association magazine VISIONS ran a cover story profiling the student newspaper and its century of work in the summer of 1990 (VISIONS, Vol. # No. #). This article and accompanying pieces, which spanned 9 pages, are shared with permission from the ISU Alumni Association.

What a Press Run!: VISIONS writer Dave Davenport profiles the Iowa State Daily, analyzing its evolution through the years with many firsthand accounts from alumni who were in the newsroom.

A timeline of events from the first 100 years’ publication of the Iowa State Daily: A timeline of 22 notable events in Daily history, from campus events to newspaper achievements.

The Word from Wall Street: The Wall Street Journal Editor Robert L. Bartley, Pulitzer Prize winner and former Daily editor, remembers the smell of ink and what journalism felt like in a pre-digital age.

What the Daily Meant to Me: Six alumni — Thelma Lowenberg Sonnichsen, Edith Lillie Bartley, James R. Healy, Jim Tarbox, Vicki Shannon, Chris Adams — share what they remember and learned from working at the Daily.

What a Press Run!

The Daily marks a century of discovering the who, what, when, where and why of Iowa State

By Dave Davenport

(VISIONS, the magazine of the ISU Alumni Association)

VISIONS cover, summer 1990

100 years. Thousands of issues. Hundreds of thousands of stories. Millions of words.

The Iowa State Daily.

It needn’t be repeated. It needn’t be explained nor justified. It’s not like the Dinkey to a 1990 graduate or $1,880 tuition to an ‘09 alum. Not like differential equations to a philosophy major or Homer to an engineer.

It’s the Iowa State Daily. The Daily. You loved it. You cursed it. You tossed it on the bathroom floor. But like George Washington Carver and J.V. Atanasoff, like Jack Trice and William M. Beardshear, you read it. And remembered it. As a collective alumni body, it’s arguable that you remembered it and it influenced you as thoroughly as any other person, building or department that has existed since August 1890.

Short of reprinting every issue and interviewing every student who ever worked at and read the Daily, henceforth you’ll find a two and a half year old publication’s attempts at summarizing, capsulizing and characterizing its spry, 100-year-old great, great aunt. The fact that a cover and nine pages have been devoted to it should by no means be taken as an indication that this endeavor is all-encompassing. It is but an album of thoughts and memories collected by studying one of Iowa State’s most vaunted institutions from afar and from within; by digging through cracked, yellowed pages and crisp, white ones for content; and by listening to proud, grizzled Daily caretakers of old and fresh faced, idealistic post-adolescents who, if for but a semester or two, carry the flame defiantly into their paper’s second century.

But the second 100 years can wait.

In the Beginning

The I.A.C. Student first graced the streets of Ames’ foundling college in August 1890, 14 years and two months too late to report on Custer’s unfortunate run-in with the Sioux. Under its first of seven names (see timeline), it promised to be “Issued Fortnightly During The College Year.”

The paper (for space and consistency considerations, it will be referred to as the Daily) largely was a bulletin board in its first few decade. Saturday’s football game religiously grabbed the Page One lead; dances; speeches and fraternity functions were other hot news items. If one of the 600 or so students had a date or a headache, chances are the Daily sniffed it out.

“Chaplain’s Column” and “President’s Column” were regulars during the Daily’s childhood and adolescence, as were column blurbs like this from 1925, which, one assumes, was humor:

“Well good beebul, we hab god a code and hobe you are the sabe, sniff, sniff.”

Early Daily writers occasionally chided college administrators but to nowhere near the extent today’s poison pencils. While 1990 editorials habitually are critical of university administration or Government of the Student Body (GSB) action or inaction, this, from 1893, was more typical of Daily crusades:

“We are proud of … students that there is so little of that weed [tobacco] used here—but why not change this little to none?”

That’s not to say the first 40 years of this century were dark ages for student press. The Daily was influential not so much for guiding student opinion through editorial content, but through staff members’ actions. Editors were highly respected student leaders; Carl Hamilton was Cardinal Guild (now GSB) president after serving as editor in 1934-35. Rodney Fox, who later would become a Daily faculty adviser, served as editor and student body president simultaneously, in 29-30. Such practice would be branded as a glaring conflict of interest today. Lyle Abbott, editor from 1942-43, likely exaggerates only slightly when he theorizes, “I’m closer to understanding a student publication of Revolutionary War times than a student of today understands my time. Things were so simplistic. There really wasn’t a source of student power.”

“You just didn’t blatantly disagree with the administration,” adds 1959 editor and current journalism department head Thomas Emmerson. “This was Beaver Cleaver’s era. It had been established that the university was the student’s parent outside the home. In loco parentis [the legal term for the institution’s control] wouldn’t religiously be disallowed until the ‘60s.”

If a Daily story or editorial didn’t set well with administrators, it wasn’t unusual—especially under the Charles E. Friley reign—for an editor to be hauled into the president’s office. “If [Dean of Students M.D.] Helser had called me in,” says Hamilton, who would go on to a celebrated career as newspaper publisher, journalism department head and ISU vice president, “I would have gone home in disgrace.”

Though the students were held under a relatively tight rein, hugely popular columnists like Don Jackson (page 23) were recognized masters at what ‘40-41 editor and retired journalism department head J.W. Schwartz calls “spoofing the administration and irritating the administration. They were never able to take it in the same vein. Nothing gets the ire up faster than good satire.”

In studying the Daily’s evolution, former faculty adviser Ed Blinn, among others, thinks the paper began sharpening its tongue soon after World War II, when serious, mature veterans converged on campus. Some took editorial positions at the Daily, bringing tough questions and equally taxing expectations. Slowly, the Daily began on a path toward convergence with mainstream papers. It editorialized about topics from tuition and quality education to dorm food and shabby football teams. It started covering the university. It began to mature into a watchdog.

“Somewhere along the line the Daily evolved into having a great deal of autonomy,” says current faculty adviser Giles Fowler. “lts publication board has no control over editorial content, and its adviser is appointed and can be fired by the editor. And the administration knows that, with the Daily’s history, if it were to try to nudge in and influence editorial position, there’d be a hell of a lot of flak. It’s an amazingly free instrument, more so than most college papers.”

Says current Daily editor Reed Landberg, an ISU junior: “Like any ‘real’ newspaper, we don’t take what the government says word for word. We question authority, which is only healthy in a democracy. We consider ourselves a sort of loose cannon, able to comment on anything we want. We have the privilege and we take advantage of it. I’m sure the administration doesn’t always like it, but our responsibility … is to our readers.

Indeed, every administrator undoubtedly has had the urge to throttle the Daily—or worse—on occasion. Former President W. Robert Parks has said more than once that he wished a story of editorial hadn’t been printed, but that he knew the decision was out of his hands because he approved of the independence. Several years ago, the paper picked apart current President Gordon Eaton’s strategic planning efforts on practically a daily basis. Editorial writers were no kinder to Eaton’s perceived disdain for curbing tuition increases.

Student government has been the other great Daily target. When Cardinal Guild pushed for extending curfew to midnight on Saturdays in the early ‘40s, the Daily came out on the other side. Says Abbott, “That may have been one of the first times the paper and the student government squabbled.”

But hardly the last. This past April, several GSB senators unsuccessfully attempted to “zero-fund” the Daily after damning editorials.

“The Daily’s voice and role has changed over the years,” says former faculty adviser Bill Kunerth, a zealous Daily champion as faculty member from 1957-88 and still the author of occasional opinion pieces. “But you can’t minimize its importance to any one era. You’ve got to judge every staff, every issue by the climate of the times.”

“Through its history,” says ‘66-67 editor Eric Abbott, Lyle’s son and the only person to follow a parent as Daily editor. “I don’t think the Daily ever tried to do anything but cover this campus the way it thought it should be covered.”

A Watchdog is Born

How should 100 years of coverage be covered? Heeding Kunerth’s caution, one scours back issues and listens to former editors to gain an appreciation for how a particular event or the coverage thereof affected campus at the time. Because the Daily didn’t become a watchdog in earnest until its 50th or 60th birthday, it’s easy to pass off the first five decades as quaint, “feel-good” journalism. But such labeling would be a gross injustice. In the 20s, the Daily played a major role in the successful Memorial Union fund drive. Though the early ‘40s Daily wasn’t ready for extended hours, the paper later would take the lead in liberalizing many facets of student life, including campus drinking and coed dorms.

But while most agree the 1990s Daily isn’t as conservative as the rest of the campus (a recent letter to the editor referred to the paper as “leftist”), historically the paper hardly has been overly liberal—especially during what Kunerth calls “the nutty-violent” ‘60s. The Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, drugs—the decade provided an intense training ground for student reporters on every college campus. At Iowa State, previously considered a sleepy, discreet institution, would be 1967 GSB President Don Smith (VISIONS, Fall 1988) entered an era of turmoil and, for 40 days, seemed intent on leaving it in shambles. He was the sockless president. He advocated drugs, freer campus availability of contraceptives and less administrative control. The Daily quoted him when he called some Iowa legislators bastards. Appropriately, Smith uttered one of the Daily’s first published profanities; shortly after his spring 1967 election he was quoted as referring to “that religious s—” Eric Abbott and other student journalists from the time just shake their heads at all Smith’s swearing that didn’t make the paper. Charles Bullard, ‘67-68 editor and now a Des Moines Register reporter, well remembers a group of Smith cronies showing up at the Daily office to destroy papers. Earlier that evening, Bullard had called Smith and told him the next morning’s editorial hadn’t bleeped out some of the president’s choicest profanities. Bullard was bluffing; the profanities went unused and the papers untouched.

With the campus crawling with national media, just-retired editor Eric Abbott broke the story that Smith had invited a Life magazine photographer to one of his marijuana parties. Abbott later would find a threat of physical harm nailed to his apartment door. Today, looking over a time-worn copy of that April 6, 1967 Daily, Abbott winces at his amateur scrawling. Nevertheless, he doesn’t hesitate to call it “a key turning point in the life of Don Smith.” This was only the most notorious episode from that tumultuous period. There were so many more: The bombing of city hall. A student march on downtown. SDS meetings. Draft protests. Continued racial incidents. And smack in the middle of that strife, Daily editors were confronted with two student homicide cases:

• The shooting of Willie Muldrew, a black football player, by his estranged girlfriend, Elizabeth Aronoff, the white daughter of an Iowa State professor. Claiming self-defense, Aronoff was acquitted. “There was a great fear that her acquittal would erupt into racial violence,” says Des Moines Register business reporter David Elbert, who covered the late 1969 trial for the Daily. “There weren’t any major incidents, but there was always so much tension.”

• The mysterious Sheila Collins murder. In 1969. Collins’ body was found along the railroad tracks. She had found a ride to her hometown of Chicago through a Memorial Union bulletin board. The murder remains unsolved.

There have been other well-publicized murders and tragedies. In 1988, freshman Yvette Louisell was found guilty of stabbing to death Keith Stilwell. That same year, graduate student Dale Royer was convicted of murdering two children after setting fire to his former major professor’s home. In 1985, the Daily won national acclaim for its coverage of the death of seven people following the crash of a university airplane.

Emmerson himself led the coverage of a sensational murder case. Twenty-year-old physics student Barry McDaniel—quoted by then-Daily managing editor Chuck Klopf through a lawyer as having an “urge to kill”—murdered a graduate student’s wife and infant daughter in their Hawthorn Court apartment in September 1959. He was found guilty. The intensity of the event now long subsided, Emmerson laughs at his first-day coverage. “I called [McDaniel] ‘the assassin”—I seem to have forgotten to say alleged,” he says. “And I even spelled it wrong.”

The flub serves as an exemplary Daily microcosm. Dig under the First Amendment admonitions and you’ll find a gaggle of 20 year olds writing headlines and taking photographs and making decisions that affect thousands—all with a precious few months of experience. A cavalier Eric Abbott once risked a chewing-out by hard-nosed Dean of Students Millard R. “Spike” Kratochvil to photograph a panty raid. Back in the darkroom he was devastated to find his flash hadn’t been synchronized with the shutter.

“At some campus papers, faculty or graduate students hold key editorial positions,” Abbott says. “At the Daily, you don’t have that. You’re a college junior and all of a sudden you’re faced with all these crucial dilemmas. You make your mistakes and you learn. You grow up fast.”

Says Elbert, “That experience, the ability to be there, on your own, in the firing line, was invaluable.”

And the training wasn’t limited to the tragic or even the domestic. Emmerson led the coverage of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s Sept. 23, 1959, visit to Iowa State. The banner headline for the “Special Russian Edition” was “To Mr. Khrushchev” in Russian, followed by a welcoming editorial: “…Although our welcome may not be enthusiastic, and we may not shout and cheer as you drive through our streets, we are glad you’re here….We’re looking for possibilities, for hope, for a route to world understanding that will make us more sure that the world we walk in ten years from now will be one, and not two, vying for control.”

Fifteen years earlier chemistry Professor Frank H. Spedding had overseen Iowa State’s atomic bomb research. “Most of us knew something was going on.” Lyle Abbott says “We were told never to go near the building and if anything happened never to cover it.” Work that literally would alter the course of history continued in obscurity for some three and a half years before it finally was reported—two days after Hiroshima. Blaring off Page one of the Aug. 8, 1945. Daily was the mammoth two-deck headline:

COLLEGE DOES SECRET

ATOMIC POWER WORK

The story, quoted Spedding: “At no time was the city of Ames … in any danger of being blown of the earth. Exactly one week later came even bigger news under the headline WORLD WAR 2 ENDS!! That issue also listed all 212 students killed in the war.

Courthouse beat

While major Daily stories can—and do—fill reams, easily as much Daily lore has gone all but unpublished. This is news that the paper made as much as covered. Times, as Kunerth says, “when the Daily really made a difference.”

Perhaps foremost in this area are lawsuits involving the paper, two in particular:

• In 1975, the Daily sued the ISU Athletic Council under the state’s open meeting-law. At the time, athletic council meetings weren’t specifically listed in the lowa Code but as a result of a 1978 Iowa Supreme Court ruling, such meetings now are included;

• The paper was on the receiving end of an equally momentous libel suit. It had used the term “rape” instead of “sexual assault” in a 1982 story. The victim, an Ames bartender, sued and won in district court. The Iowa Supreme Court later overturned that decision in a hallmark ruling of sorts, saying that “substantial truth” was sufficient, that specific language was not necessary if the phrasing used was understandable and reasonably accurate.

A third lawsuit lacked such broad legal ramifications, but was of import within the Daily’s walls. A campus religious organization had gained a 50 percent representation on the Daily’s publication board in 1979. Had it managed a majority on the pub board, and had it subsequently gained editorial control, then-adviser Blinn seriously doubts the Daily would have lived on as it’s known today. But before the organization grew stronger, the Daily filed an eventual winning suit alleging that the religious board members violated bylaws by not being earnest students. Those taking just one class and not enrolled in a degree program were legally removed from the board.

Off the pages

These have been, for the most part, reflections on the high-impact stories that have made Daily history. But while Blinn calls it a “highly, highly professional operation,” the existence of several high-minded young adults in charge of a couple dozen equally haughty souls has made for stacks of in-house gems.

Fall 1957. The Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik shocks the world. And an Iowa State physicist quietly puts himself on the precipice of history by taking the first photograph of the satellite. The photo finds its way to the Daily office, where managing editor Bonnie Rollins immediately recognizes its significance and pencils it onto Page one. Until, that is, a backshop worker takes a fateful look “He said it would just be a blur, that you couldn’t tell anything.” Kunenth says “So they dumped it.”

Another piece of backshop bafoопerу: As a joke, a press operator removed all front-page headlines, substituted them with profane jabs at university figures and ran of 100 copies. Any of Blinn’s law students could tell you that if one copy had seen daylight, it likely would have constituted libel.

“You have to call it one of the true success stories of J.W. Schwartz’s era.” Eric Abbott says, “that not a single copy made it out.”

The painstaking decision process leading to the publication of a 1974 streaker photo—full frontal male—led to an issue that at least one student wishes never had existed. After meeting with editor Thomas Quaife and his staff, Blinn’s advice was to run the photo. As always, though, it was the student’s final call. Though he was regarded as generally quiet and conservative, Quaife concurred. “That was my second issue as editor.” Quaife says. “I thought I’d have the shortest tenure in Daily history.” He ran the photo and waited for the earth to fall around him. But nothing fell, save for a few jaws the next morning. “You talk about a newspaper having an influence.” Schwartz says. “We never had another streaker on campus. Now that’s influence.”

Then there’s the story of Hamilton, Kunerth, Schwartz and their wives attending a Daily “30 party.” (It’s a long-standing journalistic tradition to mark the end of a story with “30”; the namesake parties marked the end of each quarter.) Being faculty members at a gathering that included underage drinking and maybe a few drugs, they had reason enough to worry. Imagine these nervous faculty types gathered in a corner—then envision a student leading a full-grown goat down the stairs. “We looked at each other,” says Kunerth, “and said, ‘We’ve got to get the hell out of here!’”

For some, editors like Jerry Knight (page 23) are equally legendary. In 1963, he devoted himself to becoming what columnist Jim Hemphill would call 21 years later not “simply a person who worked at the Daily,” but “a Daily Person.” Like hundreds before him and since, he practically set up camp at the Press Building (now Carl Hamilton Hall). Knight pulled a 0.00 grade-point average one quarter, adding muscle to a longstanding faculty theorem that the average editor will see his or her GPA lose 1.5 points. Knight dropped out after the ‘F parade, and never did finish his degree. Is he now folding papers instead of filling them with prose? Not quite. He writes for the Washington Post, where he’s one of the country’s more respected financial writers and analysts. “The Daily was the first thing that ever really totally involved me.” Knight says. “It was that important.”

Of course academic types like Blinn and Emmerson and Kunerth frown on such scholastic snubbers. But at the same time they can’t help but respect the professional zeal—an attribute they say has helped the Daily maintain a salient campus standing during these 100 years.

“The Daily, beneath it all, must be a leader of student opinion.” Blinn says. “On a great many occasions, students probably don’t agree with the Daily’s position. But that’s not important. It’s important that the Daily professionally offers the opportunity for the student voice to be heard. And that should never change.”

Surely, when campus scribes of 2090 pore over creased, brittle copies of 1990 Dailies to research a bicentennial piece, much else will be different. This era’s best attempts at humor and biting commentary will read as campy and trite as 1900’s now do. They’ll chuckle at the schlocky ads for $13,000 cars and powerful personal computers, they’ll jeer at raves of ultra-modern campus buildings that years ago were razed. But if our great, great grandchildren maintain any sense of history, they’ll know, as you have known, that this newspaper’s campus prominence never has been nor ever should be discounted.

Happy 100th, Daily.

-30-

A timeline of events from the first 100 years’ publication of the Iowa State Daily

August 1890: The student newspaper debuts as the I.A.C. Student, “published fortnightly.”

July 1893: Weekly publication begins.

March 1897: Name is changed to The Student, and bimonthly publication resumes.

July 1897: Named is changed to I.S.C. Student, and weekly publication resumes.

August 1905: Jennie Fedson becomes the paper’s seventh woman editor. Only nine women editors will be hired in the next 85 years.

October 1911: Name is changed to the Iowa State Student

February 1933: Lead announce that faculty were paid on time and by “usual checks.” However, Ames’ two banks “do not fund themselves in a position to cash $75,000 in checks.”

May 1933: Lead story is headlined [Iowa State sociology professor] Predicts Death of Women’s Lust for Career.”

March 1938: Name is changed to Daily Iowa State Student to reflect daily publication.

September 1938: Name is changed to Iowa State Daily Student.

June 1942: Paper begins summer publication.

September 1945: Lead story quotes registrar as expecting 65-70 percent increase in new students. Story opens, “A big headache several tons of aspirin will not relieve is the housing situation at Iowa State …”

September 1947: Name is changed to Iowa State Daily.

October 1968: Lead story announces new course to be taught: “Black and White in America.”

April 1970: Critical headlines and editorials toward Campus Alliance result in libel suit. The organization had pocketed money from selling discount cards to students; in court, the Daily was found to have the right to comment on a public body.

October 1976: Daily quotes President Gerald Ford as opening his campus speech, “It sure is nice to be here at Ohio St- uh, Iowa State.”

December 1983: State Board of Regents names ISU’s football facility “Cyclone Stadium/Jack Trice Field.” Through editorials, the Daily had pushed for naming the stadium after the black football player killed in a 1923 game.

March 1985: Daily reports journalism graduate Terry Anderson’s kidnapping by Islamic Jihad in Beruit, Lebanon. Anderson remains in captivity.

June 1985: Daily reports PhD graduate Thomas Sutherland’s kidnapping by Islamic Jihad in Beruit, Lebanon. Sutherland remains in captivity.

December 1985: George Eaton is named Iowa State’s 12th president. In the months preceding his hiring, the Daily had pushed hard — and successfully — for the university to publicize the candidates’ names.

May 1988: Daily runs two-page photo spread, “The two sides of VEISHEA ‘88,” after three nights of Campustown rioting draws national media coverage.

August 1988: After being published for decades in tabloid, easy-to-read-during-class form, the Daily begins larger, broadsheet format.

The Word from Wall Street

A Tribute to Ink-Stained Hands

By Robert L. Bartley

Memory is a fickle servant. I think back fondly on my days at the Iowa State Daily, but I do not remember 10 great lessons in journalism. What I remember is the smell of ink and melting lead.

The other day I wandered through the editorial offices of The Wall Street Journal with a friendly quiz. What’s this? I asked, holding up a bona fide artifact of my Daily years: a thin, two-inch patch of steel, sharpened on one end and humpbacked on the other. Journalists more than about 40, even if they couldn’t come up with the name “makeup rule,” understood it was something used in laying out pages of hot type. Those in their 30s were mystified.

Back at the Daily in the days of hot type, we learned that a story was something real, something you could put your hands on. You could have all the imagination in the world, and you could even peck them onto flimsy sheets of copy paper. But they were merely abstractions until they appeared, upside down and backwards, on lines of hot lead.

Back then, I couldn’t in the world have imagined sitting in a Tokyo hotel room writing on a laptop computer, plugging it into a phone to New York, going to sleep as computer worked their independent sorcery and reading myself in print the next morning on the Ginza. By now I’ve done both, and it was more fun to spend the evening in the backdrop, getting your hands inky in pursuit of spreading the truth.

There were also, of course, 10 or more lessons in journalism. I do recall hours of conversations with Jim Schwartz and other professors about the ethics and responsibilities of journalism; again, not academic classroom exercises, but help in weighing my own responsibilities toward real stories involving real people. I’ve come to see that these were the lessons that most apply, that these are questions editors in the bigger world face every day.

As for the simple craft of journalism, I guess I learned that somewhere, too. A year or so ago, a fellow Iowa State graduate was kind enough to send me a yellowed copy of The Iowa State Daily, Vol. 88, No. 59 (Dec. 11, 1958). It has a photograph of Cliff Ganschow and myself admiring an award we’d won for editorial writing in a national student newspaper competition. A couple of our editorials were about the Supreme Court, freedom of the press and all that. But others were about the quality of courses at Iowa State, a student disciplinary case and the resignation of the football coach. Real stories, real problems, real people.

I’m sure current student editors learn many of the same lessons as the Daily celebrates its 100th year. It was founded in Ames, come to think of it, only a year after The Wall Street Journal was founded in downtown Manhattan. Both are prospering in the modern era, but I suspect both have lost something from the old one. Without the smell of melting lead, how can today’s journalists learn the most important lesson of all: They are not entering a profession, but starting a romance.

—Robert L. Bartley, Daily editor in 1958-59 and a ‘59 ISU journalism graduate, is editor and vice president of The Wall Street Journal. In 1980 he followed up his student writing award with a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. His first piece for VISIONS, “Questioning House Rules,” appeared in Summer 1988.

What the Daily Meant to Me

Thelma Lowenberg Sonnichsen, ‘31

Retired home economics teacher and supervisor, Arlington, Mass.

Daily Exchange Editor

At first I was somewhat in awe of the people at the [Daily]. It was so professional; you came in and did your job—no horsing around. We had to be that way because we knew all the students read every issue cover to cover. It was so central to all the students’ lives.

Edith Lillie Bartley, ‘61

Homemaker, community volunteer, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Daily Staff Writer, Night Editor

The Daily was where I learned what a real newspaper is like: accuracy, news judgment, a noisy cluttered newsroom and camaraderie. Journalists were supposed to be independent-minded, opposed to [expressing] favoritism. The real world has been a bit of a shock, but I still believe in those ideals—and in a properly noisy newsroom and -30- parties.

James R. Healy, ‘71

USA Today automotive riter, Arlington, Va.

Daily Managing Editor

The Daily was a great chance to stay late and work hard, and a great excuse for skipping class. But it also was a serious lesson that an aggressive press is an absolute necessity in any free community.

Jim Tarbox, ‘73, MS ‘83

Book/record reviewer,

St. Paul Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.

Daily Sports Editor, Reporter, Reviewer

“Fifteen cents an inch.” Those were magical words to a still-undecided and nearly-impoverished student in the early ‘70s. That led to a summer internship, and my path was set.

Vicki Shannon, ‘81

Financial desk copy chief, Washington Post

Daily Editor

The battle with ISU Bible Study had a radical impact on me. That year was at once heady, sleepless, paranoid, morally charged, highly caffeinated, slightly alcoholic, enlightening, strident, melodramatic—essentially unreal, a comedy and a tragedy, not a taste of real-life but an exaggeration of it. We believed we were saving the Daily from an insidious, destructive force, and we won. It was great fun.

Chris Adams, ‘88

Staff writer, New Orleans Times-Picayune, New Orleans

Daily Editor

I still can’t figure out why a bunch of self-indulgent hacks got our kicks out of telling the president how to do his job. But even with a bunch of frenzied, inexperienced college students, I learned as much about newspapers, responsibilities and fairness as I have from all my professional editors since.