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JWR A Long Way from Home

News and information for EIU students in the Department of Journalism November 2013 Vol. 1, No. 1




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International student Laura Hamlyn chose EIU for her journalism studies. Photo by Stacey Catterson

Australian study abroad student immersed in journalism during EIU stay By Stacey Catterson Journalism student Laura Hamlyn will take many lessons and memories home with her when she returns to Australia in January. Laura Hamlyn, who spent this semester as a study abroad student here at EIU, is a student at UQUniversity in Rockhampton, Australia, studying professional communication. Hamlyn said she found out about the Eastern study abroad program through a friend who came here in the spring of 2012. “When I actually looked into applying I compared all the journalism departments and schools we had programs with, Eastern seemed like the best, so I decided to come here,” she said. Hamlyn said the biggest difference between our university and her university is the fact Eastern offers journalism as a major. “For my degree I’ve done communication, I’ve done PR and I’ve done journalism,” Hamlyn said. “So I’ve covered the three of them rather than just specializing in say a bachelor’s of communications.” Hamlyn said CQUniversity does not have a student-run newspaper, but they have two newspapers in the Rockhampton area. “There’s really no need for a newspaper or anything like that,” she said. “There’s only one sort of residence hall, its not like everyone is living on campus and is there all the time.” In high school Hamyln had worked with the Rockhampton newspaper. During her time working at the Dai-

ly Eastern News, “It’s been really good to work on it and see how it all works and cover different things. I’ve had to really research,” she said. “I’m always busy, but I’m not at the same time and that’s totally different for me. At home I would be working full time. I’d work 40 plus hour weeks and then I would be fitting in Uni between that and I’d be coming home after Uni doing my assignments so it was really non stop.” Hamlyn’s class schedule included Multimedia, Intro to Copyediting, Advanced Reporting and Journalism and Democracy. Hamlyn said her favorite class is Intro to Copyediting. “I’ve always liked editing other peoples’ work. I’d edit when my brother was in high school and I’d read his assignments for him to check them.” Hamlyn said working at the copydesk in the newsroom has allowed her to realize her interest in editing rather than reporting. Her biggest struggle in class has been the American and UK spelling differences. “One of my teachers likes to throw in UK spelling into the quizzes occasionally to trip me up. I’ve gotten most of them so far,” Hamlyn said. Hamlyn said the best thing about her study abroad experience at Eastern is having time to travel while studying. She is planning to visit California, Nevada, Florida and New York before returning home in January. “Its sort of a big thing I think, I will appreciate the fact that I did it while I was young not everyone can say they

“One of my teachers

likes to throw in UK spelling into the quizzes occasionally to trip me up. I’ve gotten most of them so far,

— Laura Hamlyn traveled the world let alone lived in another country,” she said If she could have done one thing differently during her study abroad time at Eastern, Hamlyn said, she wished she could have joined a sorority and gotten more involved in other organizations to meet more people. “I go in the elevator and people are like you’re the one from Australia. And I’m like yeah, they all know who I am, but I don’t know who they are,” Hamlyn said. Hamlyn will be graduating from CQUniversity in March 2014 with her bachelor’s degree in professional communication. After graduation Hamlyn said she plans to go back to her old job, have another gap year, earn money, pay everything off from her trip and save. Hamlyn said she has met many “lovely” people here. “In a way its been good that I sort of have some down time to relax before going back home and getting into work,” she said.



Journalism Calendar By Liz Grubart Journalism majors can look forward to some interesting events at the end of this semester and into the spring. Professor Sally Renaud is planning the induction for the Society of Collegiate Journalists on Tues. Dec. 3. The department will host a potluck to celebrate for several students who will be graduating at the end of the fall semester. “This is a great way to celebrate the seniors who are graduating early,” Renaud said. “They’ve worked very hard in their areas of the department and deserve it.” James Tidwell, professor and chair of the Department of Journalism, said he is planning upcoming events. He is looking forward to Homecoming North in particular. “Alumni of the journalism department will meet in Chicago on Saturday night, Feb. 22,” Tidwell said. Usually 40 to 50 alumni attend. Other spring semester events include the IHSA tournament, the PRSSA convention and the end-ofthe-year journalism banquet. Senior journalism major Brandyce Gordon, Warbler editor, said she was looking forward to distributing copies of the yearbook to the graduating seniors at cap and gown pickup in May. Tidwell said there will also be more fundraising efforts for student publications during the spring.

Dec. 3

The Society for Collegiate Journalists will hold its fall initiation of new members Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, at 7 p.m. in the Faculty Lounge and Atrium of Buzzard Hall. A reception follows the ceremony.

Dec. 9

Winter 2013 journalism graduating seniors are invited to the department’s holiday luncheon, Monday, Dec. 9, at noon in the Journalism Dept. office.

Dec. 14

Winter 2013 Commencement Saturday, Dec. 14

Spring 2014

Spring semester, TBA - EIU journalism alum Cam Simpson (‘06), the Bloomberg News’ London-based foreign correspondent, will visit EIU classrooms via Skype. He is scheduled to meet with students in feature writing and ethics courses. Dates and times to be determined. Check the department calendar early in spring semester. All journalism students are invited to attend the sessions.

Feb. 7-8

CMA Sports Reporting Training Camp, Feb. 7 and 8, 2014, Nashville, Tenn.

JWR JWR is a publication of the EIU Department of Journalism. 2521 Buzzard Hall, 600 Lincoln Ave., Charleston, IL 61920 217-581-6003

The Agency meets:. Every Thursday in 2434 Buzzard Hall 5 p.m.

Illinois College Press Association Conference, Feb 21 and 22, Chicago, Ill.

feb. 22

Homecoming North - Alumni Bash, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, Chicago, Ill. - location to be determined

PRSSA - the Public Relations Student Society of America chapter at EIU will celebrate it’s 30th anniversary with a banquet March 21 , 2014, at the 7th Street Underground. The chapter is named in honor of Daniel Thornburgh, the founder of the journalism department at EIU.

April 2014

The Agency will hold its second annual Talent Show. Proceeds will benefit the Salvation Army station in Mattoon. Date and place is TBA.

may 2

IHSA State Journalism Tournament, Friday, May 2, all day

The The

Stephanie Ciesla Stacey Catterson Liz Grubart Merritt Whitley Michael Wolbers

JWR for J-majors

JWR, a newsletter published for journalism majors and those in student media at EIU, is a merging of three newsletters published by the department previously. The Journalist, the Wavelength and the Relay have been combined into one publication. The Agency, the student-run public relations firm at EIU, produces the newsletter as well as -30-, a twice-yearly newsletter for EIU journalism alumni. In addition, the Agency handles the department’s new Twitter account @EIU_ Journalism, a departmental Wordpress blog at and some posting to the department’s Facebook page.

Michael Wolbers will be taking over as director and Katelyn Ifft will be the associate director of the Agency spring semester 2014. In addition, three positions will also be available for the spring semester. The JWR newsletter editor and two new social media contributors will be needed. The Second Annual Talent Show will be held and all proceeds will benefit the Salvation Army station in Mattoon. The Agency and PRSSA will be collaborating to work on PRSSA’s 30th anniversary banquet. The PRSSA chapter at Eastern was named in honor of Daniel Thornburgh, the founder of the journalism department at Eastern. The Warbler cover and the spread below on football player Erik Lora took first place in the Best of Collegiate Design competition.






Spring 2014 Commencement Saturday, May 10

Twelve journalism majors have applied for December 2013 graduation. They are Piper Black, Stacey Catterson, Sara Hall, Erik Jensen, Samantha McDaniel, Kathryn Richter, Rachel Rodgers, Jordan Thiede, Lauren Thomas, Alexander Warpinski, Merritt Whitley and Geoff Zuhone.

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search for Eastern Illinois University Journalism

Stacey Catterson

Journalism Graduating Senior Breakfast, Saturday, May 10 at 9:30 a.m. in the 7th Street Underground, MLK Jr. Union

Journalism Department and Student Media Banquet, Friday, May 2, 6:30 p.m. in the University Ballroom, MLK Jr. Union

Blog: Twitter: @EIU_Journalism Facebook Page: Editor:

may 10

m a r c h Agency publishes 21

The Agency produces JWR, writes news for the department’s


is organized, edited and designed by The Agency, the student-run public relations firm at EIU.

feb. 2122

Winter 2013 journalism graduates

Photographers: Stacey Catterson Stephanie Ciesla

The Agency Adviser: Liz Viall,

Warbler wins Best of Show The Warbler, Eastern Illinois University’s yearbook, took home Best of Show honors at the ACP/ CMA national college media convention in New Orleans in October. The publication, advised by Sally Renaud, also won first place for an individual spread, third place for a student-life spread, and honorable mention for a division page in the annual Best of Collegiate Design competition. The 2011-2012 edition, which was printed in April 2012, took home the awards. Danny Damiani was the editor.



From left, John Ryan, Seth Schroeder, Sean Copeland, Bobby Galuski, Brian Poulter, Joe Gisondi, Lola Burnham, Brandyce Gordon, Emily Provance, Amanda Wilkinson, Stephanie Markham, Sally Renaud and Olivia Diggs attended the convention in New Orleans.

The Big Easy

DEN, Warbler staffs delve into journalism topics at national ACP/CMA convention By Stacey Catterson On Oct. 23-27 faculty and student staff members from The Daily Eastern News and the Warbler yearbook attended the 92nd annual ACP/ CMA NOLA National College Media Convention in New Orleans, La. Attendees from the Daily Eastern News and the Warbler yearbook included Bob Galuski, Brandyce Gordon, Sean Copeland, Olivia Diggs, Seth Schroeder, Stephanie Markham, Amanda Wilkinson and Emily Provance. Faculty making the trip included Joe Gisondi, Brian Poulter, Bryan Murley, Les Hyder, Lola Burnham, John Ryan and Sally Renaud. The students were required to go to three seminars per day. College publication student journalists from all across the United States experienced educational sessions, critiques, workshops, keynote speakers and a closing ceremony during the convention. It was a chance to network, meet with pros in the industry, see current work, get critiqued, ask questions and get hands-on training from other collegiate professors in the industry. Sessions topics included design, ethics, photography, yearbook, writing, reporting, editing, sports and others. Bob Galuski, news editor for the Daily Eastern News, said his favorite seminar was from Frank LoMonte, executive director at the Student Press Law Center, on his presentation about the Federal Education Rights Privacy Act. Galuski said during the presenta-

tion LoMonte discussed when FERPA goes in effect, how to cover campus crime, sexual assault issues, diversity issues, and when to send a request for a FOIA under FERPA. Also, during his time at the convention Galuski said he received numerous tips from various professionals within the industry. “A lot of the ideas that my collogues and I were able to assimilate during the conference are definitely going to show up into our publication whether that’s next year, or a little ways down the line,” said Galuski. Galuski mentioned all of these ideas are not concrete yet for the Daily Eastern News, as editors want time to plan their implementation. Sean Copeland, the online editor from the Daily Eastern News, said his favorite session throughout his time at the convention was listening to Frank Ryan speak about online media. Ryan is an advisor for the Oregon Daily Emerald at the University of Oregon. Copeland said Ryan’s presentation focused on why newspapers are dying, and how it will soon come a time when online newspapers will become the norm, and when that happens online readers will only be attracted to eye catching content and design for a story. Olivia Diggs the photo editor of the Warbler yearbook said, her favorite session was getting the chance to hear professional photographers speak about their past experiences and their life stories within the industry. Diggs said she enjoyed listening

to Michael Democker, a photographer from The Times-Picayune, discuss the dangerous encounters and tragedies he has experienced throughout his career in the New Orleans area. Diggs said one situation Democker discussed was a time when he had to take photos of a crying father holding his dead 10-year-old daughter in his arm after she was shot on her birthday. Emily Provance, DEN opinions editor, said her favorite seminar was on the topic on sex and health, where she obtained many new column ideas to bring back to the Daily Eastern News. “I’m going to be trying to start a column like that before my job as opinions editor is done,” Provance said. Provance said the newspaper is in the early stages of starting an eco-friendly green column. The ACP/CMA NOLA National College Media Convention trip also provided time for the students and faculty to take in the sights and sounds of New Orleans. The group stopped along the way to visit restaurants, walk along the Mississippi River, and experience Bourbon Street and the Louisiana museum. “It’s a crazy place to look at journalism,” Copeland said. Provance said the conference was incredible and brought her closer to her DEN colleagues. “I’m so happy I went. I think it will help not only with the DEN...and the Warbler but also with my future,” Provance said.




Heading to Nashville Merritt Whitley takes her journalism skills and songs to the country music capital


By Stephanie Ciesla ournalism major Merritt Whitley will put down her tennis racket in December to pursue her dream as a country singer and songwriter. Whitley, who has a concentration in public relations and advertising, is graduating Dec. 14. She played on the EIU tennis team for four years, but first picked up a tennis racket when she was 4 years old. “I was very athletic as a child, and I liked to play a lot of different sports. Tennis was just the one that I really enjoyed the most,” Whitley said. In high school she placed third in singles’ state competition while a freshman and fourth in state as a sophomore, also in singles. Her junior year Whitley earned a state championship in doubles. At college graduation she will trade her racket for a microphone. Whitley said if she had to choose between tennis and music, she would choose music. “I played tennis pretty much my entire life. It has been an awesome experience, and I’ve learned a lot about myself and met a lot of really great people, but I don’t love it anymore,” she said. “It’s one of those things that I’m ready to let go of. I’m ready for a new chapter.” Whitley, who was offered a coaching position at Eastern for spring semester, declined that offer to focus on a future with music. She said tennis will be in her life as a fun sport, but she’s leaving the competitive aspect of the game behind. The Kansas City native started writing her own songs at 15. “I had a friend that was in a band and he inspired me to pick up a guitar and write my own music,” Whitley said. Music was enjoyment, but singing was passion. She performed in talent shows and fairs, singing her original work. “When I perform sometimes I get nervous butterflies and sometimes I feel completely calm. Either way, when you’re on stage you just feel free. It’s just a completely different feeling,” Whitley said. Whitley’s songs have a country feel but she enjoys all genres of music such as pop and rock. She describes her music as acoustic pop country. “I just like to write songs about my life, my experiences, even my friends inspire me,” she said. “I just like writing a lot which is also why I’m a journalism major. Writing is just a big passion of mine.” During her sophomore year at EIU, she went to Nashville and recorded her first album, “Secret.” In January she plans another trip to the capital of country music to start recording her second. “After I graduate I intend to really focus on music and, hopefully, within the next year I can make the move to Nashville,” she said. Whitley is working on getting her “foot in the door” of the music business. She said she has been doing research on what will be best for her music career and would like to Merritt Whitley, who graduates in December, plays her guitar outside Carman Hall on Eastern’s campus. Photo by Stephanie Ciesla sign with a small label.

Recent j-grads Johnson and Grimm hit the job market By Merritt Whitley & Michael Wolbers Chad Grimm and Megan Johnson both graduated from the Eastern Illinois University journalism department in May 2013 and have found employment after graduation. Johnson currently resides in Chicago, Ill., and is working at a Hilton hotel. Her current position is in customer service, and in January she will begin working for the Hilton’s communications department. Johnson also plans on going back to school in January to brush up on her writing skills. Her future intentions are to write a book about her experiences in the hotel industry. Johnson has already begun putting

together a collaboration of short stories about the lessons she has learned. Johnson’s dream job however, is to move to New York and work for Cosmopolitan magazine. She is currently working towards her journalistic goals by bettering her writing and gaining experience. Johnson said she believes that Eastern helped her prepare for the future by providing her with useful situational experiences in public relations and writing. Johnson’s advice for students getting ready to graduate and pursuing careers in journalism and public relations are to be optimistic. “You are probably not going to find something

right away. Things don’t always go as planned,” Johnson said. “You just have to be open minded.” Johnson’s future plans do include returning to Eastern in the future. “It’s hard to make time once you get into the workforce,” Johnson said. “I love Eastern, I still have close friends out there. I’ve learned so many life skills. I want to come back someday.” Johnson is not the only Eastern graduate who is finding success after graduation. Chad Grimm is currently employed by Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, Mo.,as a special marketing team representative. “I started in May work-

ing at the Busch factory giving tours of the brewery,” said Grimm. “Then I found out about my current job, I applied and I got it.” The job has taken Grimm to a variety of places including New York and San Francisco. “We went to Oktoberfest in San Francisco and then Fashion week in New York and I have had the chance to travel with the Cardinals during their playoff run,” said Grimm. Even though Grimm has traveled far from Eastern’s campus, he says that things he learned at Eastern have helped him along the way, “the great thing about taking PR courses with Terri Johnson was that you learn to be versatile,” said

Grimm. “So, even though I do not necessarily have a journalism career I learned communication and speaking skills from those classes with Mrs. J.” Going out and trying different things is key to finding what fits best for you, says Grimm. “Just go out and be yourself. Don’t think you just have to stay with one student RSO,” said Grimm. “I found that The Agency helped me and suited me, but that necessarily does not mean it would be the right fit everyone else.” Grimm will be working at local St. Louis events to help Anheuser-Busch support the Cardinals while they play in the World Series.

JWR - November 2013  

A publication for journalism majors and student media at Eastern Illinois University

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