Behind the Scenes at “The Campus Lantern”

(From The Campus Lantern – December 6, 2012)

The Campus Lantern is a club at Eastern Connecticut State University that publishes a biweekly newspaper that has been in print since 1945.  The newspaper staff consists of seven paid positions, four assistant editors, over 20 staff writers, and occasional contributors.  The newspaper itself consists of four main sections: News, Opinion, Arts & Entertainment, and Sports.  Occasionally the paper has the Expressions section, a Letter to the Editor Section, or full-page ads.  This is background knowledge that many readers already have about the Campus Lantern.  However, I will give you a behind-the-scenes look at how the Lantern is published, how meetings are run, and interviews from the Editor-in-Chief herself.

The publishing process of the newspaper takes a few days from start to finish.  The articles, which must be between 400 and 600 words, are written by the staff writers and assistant editors.  They must be emailed to the Section Editors by Saturday afternoon.  From Saturday through Wednesday, the Lantern Editors work diligently to correct any grammar or content errors in the articles.  The newspaper is then formatted into its digital layout, which is sent to the publisher, the Willimantic Chronicle, on Wednesday evening.  The following morning, hard-copies of the newspapers are delivered back to Eastern.  Thursday and Friday all staff members must deliver papers to every building on campus.  The Campus Lantern staff works together to make the newspaper a reliable news source for the Willimantic community and Eastern campus.

Ashley Kus, the Editor-in-Chief, has been writing for the Lantern since the spring semester of her freshman year.  This was her first year as Editor-in-Chief.  According to Kus, the best aspect of the Campus Lantern is the group of editors this year.  They “get along better than any of the former editors and all have lots of experience with the Lantern.”  A quote that Ashley mentions quite often in meetings is, “Expect the unexpected.”  Some hardships with the Lantern, she admits, are that sometimes the articles are not submitted in time, and “the whole publishing process is rushed.”  Ashley is a hard-working, respectable Editor-in-Chief and will be missed when she graduates from Eastern in Spring 2013.

Campus Lantern meetings, which are led by Kus, are held on Wednesdays at 3:00 PM on the lower level of the Student Center.  (Next semester they will be held at the same time, but in Room 301 of the Science Building.)  Each week after publication, the editors go over highlighted articles from each section of the paper.  The editors give the writers constructive criticism on their article; the writers give the editors constructive criticism as well.  Sometimes helpful workshops are held by the editors that are intended to help the writers improve.  Staff writers brainstorm and share ideas for articles for the next issue of the paper.  Finally, the week before publication, articles are peer-edited.  Occasionally a guest speaks to the club.  This semester, the ex-photographer for the Times Magazine spoke to the members about which skills are needed to work in the field of communications. If the club seems interesting, come to a meeting and see the action first-hand.

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