I Tweeted about this a few hours ago, but I want to make it all perfectly clear: My college newspaper kicked ass today.
I’m an alumnus of the University of Delaware, but—truly—I’m an alumnus of The Review. That’s the student newspaper where I probably spent, oh, a solid 43.8 percent of my four years at UD. Back then we were twice weekly, we were filled with advertisements and it was our unstated-yet-stated goal to piss off the administration and win awards and land big journalism gigs upon graduation (oh, and eat shitloads of cold pizza on an orange couch).
Those targets were often accomplished. Even though Delaware didn’t even offer journalism as a major (it was merely a concentration), our alum could be found at the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, People Magazine … on and on and on.
I graduated in 1994, and as the years have passed and the industry has changed, The Review (most, if not all, would agree) sorta slipped. It went from two issues a week to one; it went from tons of ads to minimal ads; it went from a zealous use of color to a minimal use of color. Maybe this is just my age, but it seemed simultaneously sloppier and less forceful. College papers are supposed to bring the heat. I didn’t sense much of it. And while Blue Hens still entered the field, not quite as many. I can’t say it depressed me, per se, but it bummed me out. I like the University of Delaware, but I friggin’ love The Review.
Earlier today two members of the newspaper’s sports staff, Teddy Gelman and Brandon Holveck, published a piece that makes this faded Blue Hen very proud. Headlined, PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE, the article digs deeply into the reign of terror of Bonnie Kenny and Cindy Gregory, the former women’s volleyball coaches who were let go by the school last October. Utilizing intense reporting and precise detailing, the story was fabulously written and chock filled with information. It read seamlessly; could have easily appeared in any newspaper around the country—college or professional.
Best of all, it serves as a reminder of the power of the college press. This is an investigation completed without assistance from the university. There are a whole slew of coaches and administrators who refused to comment (so much for accountability), yet Gelman and Holveck pushed on, reported hard, brought the oomph and gave us something that will rightly top both their resumes.
I can’t wait for the follow up …