The Indiana Daily Student has been covering some of the most important events throughout its existence from World War II to 9/11 and countless events in between. In celebration of the newspaper’s 150th birthday, past editors-in-chief throughout the decades shared memories from their time at the IDS.
Craig Klugman, 1967
When Klugman served as editor-in-chief of the IDS, he helped plan the 100th birthday of the publication and was challenged to look at 100 years of news coverage. He said he covered many different topics and kept a strong enthusiasm toward journalism with each piece he published.
“I was the typical obsessive Daily Student person my three years I was at college, and my friends that weren’t journalism majors seemed to recognize why I did that,” Klugman said.
One night, when Klugman was working the copy desk, he picked up a ringing phone next to him to find out it was the vice president of the University releasing a statement removing the curfew hours of women living on campus.
At the time, women living in dorms had to be in their residence halls by 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and by 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. This story caused extreme controversy, and the IDS received a lot of backlash from readers.
Moreover, when Klugman was on staff, the IDS was part of the School of Journalism and the University ultimately decided what was going to be sent to print. The separation between the paper and the University came two years after Klugman’s graduation.
When focusing on the current situation of journalism, Klugman said his advice wouldn’t be worth much because it is constantly changing and he is from the past.
“Regardless, doing your very best to be thorough, accurate, complete and fair are and will always be important,” Klugman said.
Klugman is the retired editor at the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.
Paul Tash, 1975
Tash said he looked at the IDS as a way for a large public university to become small and to allow a common experience in a structured way.
“There are a lot of things in life I can trace back to Indiana University,” Tash said.
At IU, Tash received the Poynter scholarship, which jumpstarted his career at the then St. Petersburg Times.
He referred to the IDS he knew as a pretty newsy paper that didn’t shy away from controversy. He recalled investigating University policy at the time related to attracting more minorities that resulted in people picketing outside the newsroom the next day.
Regarding the future of the IDS and journalism in general, he said he hopes to still hear a vibrant and noisy voice. The same advice he would give to any new reporter is to actually report.
“Get your shoes dirty,” Tash said. “That means get out of the office and go see people. There’s no substitute for that.”
He said with that skill, the best story has the potential to fall into place.
“I hope that the experience at IU, and at the Daily Student, is as rich for the class of 2017 and beyond as it was for the class of 1976,” Tash said.
Tash is the chair and CEO of Times Publishing Company.
Andy Hall, 1981
For Hall, his work at the IDS was the defining experience of his time at IU. Hall served on staff for nine semesters and referred to his time as a priceless supplement to his work in a classroom.
“It was an amazing opportunity to work alongside young, world-class journalists, building our skills and learning to produce high quality stories under real world conditions,” Hall said.
Many of the students Hall worked with went on to become award-winning journalists. That group included Hall’s wife Dee, who served as an editor on Hall’s staff. Hall said his most fond IDS memory was the energy that exuded within the newsroom.
“The sense that the newspaper was bigger and smarter than any one of us and that working we were capable of incredible work under sometimes difficult conditions,” Hall said.
During his time on staff, Hall said he most clearly remembers the evening following President Reagan’s possible assassination and having to rearrange the page one design very late at night to coincide with the NCAA championship.
“I learned a lot of lessons in making those decisions,” Hall said.
Hall said he looks forward to attending the 200th birthday celebration in 50 years to see the progression of journalism over time.
“I think that journalists at the IU Media School 50 years from now will continue learning the skills to hold the powerful accountable and tell stories in engaging and innovative ways and will continue to be leaders in journalism for many decades to come,” he said.
Hall is the cofounder and executive director of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.
Amy Wimmer Schwarb, 1995
Wimmer Schwarb started working at a newspaper at the age of 12 and said she never left a newsroom. After applying four separate times to work at the IDS, she walked into the newsroom to meet the city editor, who needed a local meeting covered that evening. Wimmer Schwarb jumped at the chance of writing her first story.
“The things I really remember are the stories,” Wimmer Schwarb said.
During one of the semesters Wimmer Schwarb was on staff, the Oklahoma City bombings occurred, and the IDS managed to find IU doctoral students doing research near the bombings. During her time as editor she said her experience was less about journalism and news judgement and more about people.
“We had a lot of personal strife that folks were dealing with, and I was their 21-year-old boss that didn’t have a clue,” Wimmer Schwarb said. “Regardless, those memories shaped me to be better every day.”
Looking toward the future of the IDS and journalism, Wimmer Schwarb said she doesn’t believe what it will look like is invented yet.
“No one can imagine what the Indiana Daily Student will look like in 50 years because we can’t even see what next year will look like,” Wimmer Schwarb said. “I just hope that good writing is still there and ethics, as hard as it becomes, is still present and helping their audiences.”
Wimmer Schwarb currently serves as the editor of Champion Magazine, published by the NCAA, and is president of the IU Student Media Alumni Board.
Charlie Scudder, 2012
Scudder graduated from IU in 2014 and said his experience at the IDS shaped his college career immeasurably.
“It kind of sucks up your life, but in a good way,” Scudder said. “Your work ethic is really shaped by your experience.”
Scudder said the skills he gained while actually doing versus learning were much more beneficial in his professional development.
During the semester Scudder served as editor, former President Obama was reelected into office. He said he could feel a sense of camaraderie in the room as they officially called the election.
“It just shows how important that place, that institution is, the reason it’s been here for 150 years,” Scudder said. “It provides something really important to young journalists.”
Scudder recalled the many nights spent sitting on the porch of his house while playing guitar and discussing with his friends the different stories they were working on. For him, it was really important to have fun with stories.
“If it’s ever stressing you out, it should be making your product better but not stressing you out so much that you can’t work,” Scudder said.
Scudder discussed the double-edged sword of what journalism is undergoing right now during this political climate. The one side is that many people don’t understand what we as journalists do, exactly, Scudder said. The other is the internal shrinking of newsrooms as ad revenue continues to switch platforms.
“I want to prove that my work is worth it,” Scudder said. “You should spend that 99 cents a month to pay for my story because my story is worth it.”
The future of the IDS is something that Scudder said he hopes still allows the learning lab to educate the next generation of reporters.
Scudder is currently a features reporter at the Dallas Morning News and serves on the IU Student Media Alumni Board.
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