Editor-in-chief speaks on running student paper
Students in Power
The Daily Campus’s editor-in-chief Kim Wilson works in her office in the Daily Campus building. Wilson spoke of the challenges that come with the role. Natalia Pylypyszyn/The Daily Campus
News is nothing new for Kim Wilson, 8th semester English and journalism major, who currently serves and as editor-in-chief of The Daily Campus. As editor-in-chief, Wilson is responsible for keeping one of the largest student run daily newspapers in the state afloat in order to keep UConn students informed of pressing issues.
While her career at The Daily Campus has lasted throughout her four years here, her foray into journalism began long before she step foot in Storrs.
It was with the Citizen's News in Naugatuck, Connecticut, Wilson's hometown, that she got her first taste of the reporting skills that would follow her up to graduation.
"It was really fun, they would send me to town festivals-lighter news at first." Wilson said. "As I continued with them, I would get assigned harder hitting stuff."
When Wilson arrived at Storrs in 2010, she took the experiences she had accumulated with the Citizen's News and went straight to The Daily Campus building for her first news meeting.
She would spend the next two years writing local campus news, with her favorite story coming from an unexpected source.
"One of my favorite stories I wrote was about tanning bed laws that were far less strict in Connecticut than anywhere else in the country," Wilson said. "I staked out tanning salons for a couple of days, I talked to almost 30 people and I really felt like I knew all the data inside and out. I think the tanning bed laws were changed, but not as a result of my article."
For two years Wilson would work copy editing and design shifts, on top of her reporting responsibilities, and by her junior year she was promoted to news editor. As she entered her senior year, Wilson took over the top position attainable by a student at The Daily Campus, and subsequently the top responsibilities.
"There were a lot of headaches and midnight phone calls, a couple of lawsuit threats, but those are the things you deal with as an editor-in-chief," Wilson said.
One of the most visible changes Wilson made during her tenure was the removal of names from the police blotter. Wilson said that she wanted to remove the names because, as a student newspaper, she did not want The Daily Campus to impede a student's future for a minor charge that might ended up getting dropped anyway.
"It was not at all like I made that decision lightly, but I will never change my mind on that and I think it was the right thing to do," Wilson said. "Some people felt that it took away information, but the fact of the matter is that anyone can get that information from other sources if they want to."
As a leader of a newspaper, Wilson has learned a great deal of the qualities it takes to guide such a large and productive organization.
"Communication skills are most important, there are 150 people who work here, and there are a lot of things on a micro level that you don't see everyday," Wilson said. "And of course there's the paper work, conflicts with readers and issues with advertising, circulation and printing."
However many midnight phone calls Wilson had to answer, she reflected that her career at the large and bustling Daily Campus gave was an overall positive experience, and gave her insights into the ethics of news.
"People won't always agree with the decisions you make, and when dealing with people who are not pleased with you, you just listen to their complaints and try to come to a resolution that will be ethical for the paper and keep readers happy."
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