Editorial: College newspapers thrive with good advisers

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On college newspapers, where emerging writers depend on constructive feedback and strong guidance, a staff depends on a good adviser. Some of these positive qualities include being fair, supportive, involved, level-headed and caring deeply for the personal and professional development of the entire staff.

The Whit staffers see all of these qualities in our current adviser, Professor Nick DiUlio.

One thing that we would like to highlight in our appreciation for Professor DiUlio is that he is always generous with his time and attention. Consistently willing to schedule meetings to address our concerns about financial, ethical, logistical and journalistic matters, he stays later than usual on Wednesdays in order to give The Whit his undivided attention. He responds to frantic text messages at all hours of the day, because the issues that are important to us are important to him too.

Moreover, Professor DiUlio makes The Whit an incredibly constructive experience for every student involved. He knows when we have done a good job and doesn’t hold back from recognizing our efforts. However, he also offers fair and measured feedback about how we can improve, citing specific examples with writing, editing, photography and page design.

When we present him with potential story ideas, he points out the positives aspects of our often lofty visions, while raising potential pitfalls within the execution. He supports all of us as individuals who are continuously learning and evolving, who of course make the occasional mistake, but who also have our own potential.

We all know that Professor DiUlio wants to see us get better on our own terms, to try to see things from new perspectives and to try new techniques to making our writing and reporting successful. That makes him both a good adviser and a good teacher, in general.

The Whit staff would like to add that Professor DiUlio is knowledgeable about the journalism industry as a whole, and more than qualified to advise us through our tenures at this campus publication. A freelance writer for more than two decades, he also possesses ample editorial experience from his time at South Jersey Magazine.

Using his own professional background as a starting point, he helps young writers navigate an industry often infamous for taking advantage of early-career journalists. Professor DiUlio thus often advocates for students to demand fair compensation for our labor, to be aggressive in our pursuit of stories that matter and to act with compassion at every stage of the reporting process.

Professor Quigley, who advised The Whit for several years prior to Professor DiUlio, also put her full efforts into the publication and support of the student staff and remains a strong supporter of the work being produced today. The continued support from those past and current advisers helps our staff maintain the confidence it takes to keep our print going, knowing there are always those in our corner looking out for our publication’s best interests.

In this issue is an article about Martha Hursey, The Whit editor-in-chief of 1945-1946. Included is a letter to the editor written by Dora McElwain, the adviser of the same time, who seems to have supported Hursey and encouraged her obvious talent.

While the current iteration of The Whit staff does not face Hursey’s challenges of being the first person of color in an editorial position, Professor DiUlio and Professor Quigley seem to both be continuing McElwain’s precedent of helping future journalists succeed and find confidence in themselves, despite the challenges we may face along the way.

Overall, The Whit staff would like to recognize Professor Nick DiUlio as one of a rare breed of professors who not only truly care about students, but who also have the patience and kindness to fully enact the lessons they wish to teach. The Whit would not be what it currently is without his guidance. We are truly grateful for his contributions to our journalism community, and to all of our futures.

Thank you, Professor DiUlio!

For comments/questions about this story, email editor@thewhitonline.com or tweet @TheWhitOnline.

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