Student Media Category
A cover of a book written by hoaxter Alan Abel. On it, you can see SINA's solution to world's problems -- a clothed horse.
A story that appeared in The Technician early in March 1963 had all the makings to launch a protest on campus. It spelled out one man’s indignation at an ill he viewed as so perilous to society, he was willing to dedicate the next 10 years of his life and his $400,000 inheritance from his father to remedy it.
As president of the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, G. Clifford Prout saw it as his duty to travel the country and clothe every animal, whose birthday suits he saw as leading to the moral decay of the country. The Technician spelled out SINA’s contention “that the immorality of America is caused by the slight skads [sic] of little naked animals running around, flaunting their ‘vital parts.’” So Prout decided to start a chapter of SINA on many college campuses, including NC State, to carry out his charge.
“Be it resolved,” the SINA constitution read, according to The Technician, “that the members of SINA shall devote their time and energy to clothe all naked animals that appear in public, namely horses, cows, dogs, and cats, including any animal that stands higher than four inches and is longer than six inches.”
Prout also proposed a march in Washington, D.C., to protest then-first lady Jackie Kennedy and her daughter, Caroline, riding nude horses. And he offered a contest that called for each participants to write an essay of between 100 and 10,000 words addressing the theme, “Why I Choose to Be a Decent Person.”
But on this day 50 years ago, The Technician admitted that it (like students at several other universities) had been pranked and that SINA and Prout were hoaxes thought up by American prankster Alan Abel. And it turns out that Prout, himself, was played in public appearances by none other than comedy writer, Saturday Night Live alumnus and screenwriter of The Graduate Buck Henry.
“Well it finally happened,” The Technician reported on this day in 1963. “THE TECHNICIAN was played for a fool. …We think it’s a shame. We can’t help but wonder how our cows would look in petticoats.”
“College life without its journal is blank.” So went part of the announcement in the first issue of the Technician, NC State’s first student newspaper, on this day in 1920. “Smoothly and with never a jerk or a splash, but with an unnerving quiet movement, a strange ship casts off and her voyage has begun.”
The first issue was but four pages, no pictures, and a total of three ads. The news? “The State College is Meeting Its Demands,” read the front-page headline. The story beneath recited increasing enrollment figures and listed a variety of new projects to serve those students, including a new dissecting laboratory for the Veterinary Department and two new farm cottages under construction.
An item on the inside pages reported a fire at Watauga Hall that caused $1,000 worth of damage and resulted in firemen chopping on the floor, “gradually lessening the small chance of any return of our breakage fee.” Another article previewed a meeting of the Electrical Engineering Society that was scheduled to include “stunts” such as “frying eggs over a platter of ice.”
The paper started out as semi-monthly and replaced a short-lived monthly magazine called The Red & White that folded in 1917. By 1922, the student newspaper went weekly. Today, the Technician is published five days a week.
The 1920 Agromeck applauded the new student publication. “Hail! A real college news. And well done, brave and faithful class of ’20….Just what we’ve been looking for through the last four long dreary years.”
—Sylvia Adcock ’81
It looked like an announcement for a beauty contest — readers of The Technician were invited to select “the most beautiful Raleigh girl” and “most handsome State College student” — but the contest was apparently a way for the student newspaper to sell papers.
The contest got underway on this day in 1924. The rules, announced in an earlier issue of the paper, went like this: For the next month two coupons would appear in each copy of the paper. Readers could fill out the coupons — one was marked for male entries and one for female — to vote for whomever they pleased. Each coupon was worth 10 votes.
But participants could also buy votes. A $2 annual subscription to The Technician would give the new subscriber a coupon worth 100 votes. (For context on the value of $2, the contest was announced opposite an ad from Belk’s for “College Men’s Hats” that started at $1.95.) And readers could buy extra copies of The Technician for 10 cents a copy to get more coupons, allowing them to cast more votes for the guy or gal of their choice.
As the contest went on, the paper printed the number of votes for each contestant. “If some other fellow’s girl gets ahead, it just shows that fellow is working harder…Do not stop sending in the votes,” the paper said.
On April 4, the winner was announced. Beating out a slew of contestants from St. Mary’s, Peace and Meredith was Miss Emily Jones, who worked at the State College post office. Miss Jones was described as “an attractive little blonde’’ with eyes that were “ocean-blue wells of sympathy and understanding.’’ She was “a little girl who has smiled her way into the hearts of every State College man through the bars of the General Delivery Window down at the State College P.O.,’’ and always had encouraging words to students who didn’t get the mail they were looking for.
Votes came in not just from students, the paper said, but also from alumni, giving Jones more than 14,000 votes (the runner-up only got 2,230). A shorter story mentioned the most handsome student, C.E. Vick, and said he had been “beset with offers to appear in ads for facial beautifiers.”
The stories didn’t say how many subscriptions or additional single copies the paper sold. But it looks like the additional revenue may have been needed — an ad in the April 4 issue opposite the contest announcement implored subscribers to pay their bills: “The printer must be paid. A little cooperation is all we ask.”
Today the Technician is distributed free and is supported by advertising revenue and student fees.
—Sylvia Adcock ’81
NC State has long been heavy on science, mathematics and technology. But even scientists need a creative outlet, right?
On this day in 1964, the inaugural issue of Windhover was released to address such concerns. Windhover is NC State’s annual literary and visual magazine. The most recent issue was released last month.
The Windhover was not published from 1970-73, according to the journal’s website. A creative writing class at NC State published three issues of The Whole Thing, a similar literary journal, in 1974.
In 2001, NC State magazine wrote about Windhover and its success in collegiate press contests.
“There are always two ways to read something, and Windhover encourages the average reader to go beyond surface value,” said Emily Townley, who was then the editor of Windhover.
“A lot of times (at a science and technology university), we want to quantify everything, and we appreciate only the empirical data that come our way. But it’s really important for us to stretch our minds and work on pursuing other avenues of thought.”
Feeling creative? Looking for an opportunity to unleash the poet hidden inside you? Willing to share your artistic impulses?
Windhover, the literary and arts magazine at NC State, is reaching out to alumni to ask them to submit their creative work. Yes, they are still looking for work by students, but the editors want the magazine to reflect the creativity of the larger NC State community.
Almost any kind of creative work is welcome. “If it’s creative, and original, and your work, we’d love to see it,” the editors said in a request for submissions. The list of what they’re interested in includes architecture, digital media, painting, poetry, photography, prose and sculpture.
The deadline for submissions is Dec. 5 (although there is a “hard” deadline of Dec. 20) to be included in the 2012 edition. Submissions can be sent to email@example.com. For more information, visit the Windhover website.
Alumni are also invited to participate in Windhover’s 5th Annual Open Mic Night on Nov. 18 in Caldwell Lounge.
(Image courtesy of NC State Student Media)
Here’s a reason to tune in to 88.1 FM on your radio. The Independent Weekly has named WKNC, NC State’s student radio station, the best college radio station in the Triangle. WKNC was also a finalist in the category of non-profit radio.
The students who run WKNC are passionate about the station, said Bradley Wilson, coordinator of student media advising. Programming ranges from indie rock during the day to specialty shows including “All Things Acappella,” “Chainsaw Rock” and “Shut the Punk Up.”
The station runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even during the summer months when students all but disappear from campus. About 150 students work at WKNC, and the jobs are so popular there’s a waiting list. Perhaps not surprisingly–considering the popularity of all-nighters among the college-aged–the most sought-after shift is 3 a.m.
Today, WKNC broadcasts at 25,000 watts and can reach 1.1 million listeners in central North Carolina. That’s up from 10 years ago, when the station was at 10,000 watts.
Check out what else the station is doing at http://wknc.org/.
As the Class of 1961 gets set for its reunion weekend later this week, we present more photos of NC State from 1960 and 1961 courtesy of the Historical State collection at NC State Libraries.
Such as this one, of students working at WKNC radio station in 1960…
And this one, of Sigma Kappa sorority pledges…
And this one, of students outside Reynolds Coliseum…
On Tuesday, we posted a Q&A with Tim Peeler ’87 about his new book, NC State Basketball: 100 Years of Innovation. Tim’s co-author on the project was Technician alumnus Roger Winstead ’87, who designed the book and picked the photographs (and took many of them). Roger has been a photographer at The News & Observer, where he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and today is director of photography for Creative Services at NC State. He talks here about the book and some of his favorite photographs.
Roger and Tim are scheduled to do a talk and book signing tonight at 7 p.m. in the Assembly Room at D.H. Hill Library.
How did you get involved in this?
Tim and I go way back to our days working together at Technician, so when he asked if I was interested in doing this project with him, I jumped at the chance. I have always admired Tim’s writing and respected his talent — and that just made it easier for me to say yes. And of course he had no choice but to ask me because of the blackmail photos of him I have from college. That’s another book right there.
How did you develop the book’s look?
After Tim had mentioned his interest in doing this book together, I started researching books and had some ideas of what I thought would be the best look for us. I spent some good chunks of time at various bookstores scoping out books and making notes. Many historical books tend to be copy heavy and leave out the images. Tim had said early on that he really wanted to make the book as visual as space would allow and still be able to tell the Wolfpack basketball story in words. I think we have a pretty decent mix of visual and text.
How did you decide which photographs to use?
I approached editing the photos like I did while at The News & Observer. I looked at all of them and tossed out the “bad” first, and I marked the ones that I just had to have in the book no matter what. I then worked my way down from the next batch of images, winnowing out the so-so from the good. There were a few photos that I had to use because we had no others to represent a story and there were some good ones that I ran out of space and could not use at all. We could have easily added another 30 pages to the book. Having access Special Collections’ online photo gallery and digital Agromeck copies was a real life safer when it came to finding pictures from those early years.
You’ve taken a lot of pictures of Wolfpack basketball. What’s your favorite?
I’ve been photographing NC State basketball games since I was 17, so I do have quite a collection spanning almost 30 years. That makes it tough to narrow down to just one. I have a series of Spud Webb’s first dunk in Reynolds that I love. And several of Coach [Jim] Valvano that I adore. But if my life depended on choosing just one, I’d say it was the shot of Chucky Brown from my senior year. It’s a peak moment of two players reaching for a loose ball that just reads well. It’s crisp and clean, with no distractions. Faces. Ball. Action. That’s it.
We’ve posted about Technician’s challenging spring here before, and we wrote about it in the summer issue of NC State magazine. On his blog yesterday, Andy Bechtel, a journalism professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, posted a Q&A with Tyler Dukes ’08 about his new job as a production assistant with NC State Student Media. His responsibilities will include helping the students who staff Technician. Dukes talked to Bechtel about what the work looks like:
I essentially work for the students, and their needs change day to day. In the last two weeks, I’ve done everything from helping brainstorm coverage ideas and working one-on-one with reporters on stories to teaching AP style and good design principles.
Once class starts in the fall, my schedule will become a little more routine — but not by much. I’ll be here at night while students are working hands-on with the next day’s edition. I’m also committed to getting them out of the deadline environment for an hour or so each week to work on honing their skills, whether it’s with me or other local media professionals and Technician alumni.
It’s important to point out that my role is to support students and empower them to make their own decisions, because the content of these publications is determined solely by the student editors. My most important job is to make sure this staff learns from their successes as well as their failures.
Dukes is a former web producer for News 14 Carolina. You can check out his blog here and follow him on Twitter at @mtdukes.
Here’s an update on what became a big campus topic in March, when it was widely reported that Technician, NC State’s student newspaper, was facing tough times. It had lost its editor and managing editor during the school year and no students had applied to be the editor for 2010-11. “The paper needs your help, regardless of age or experience,” Technician editors wrote in a March 14 editorial. “Without student support, the paper could cease publication at the end of the semester.” Former Technician editor and NC State magazine intern Saja Hindi headed a committee to evaluate the situation and make recommendations about the direction of the newspaper and the role of the editor-in-chief. (Read SaveTechnician.com to see the recommendations.) Five students ended up applying for the position; and on Tuesday night, the Student Media advisory board announced its pick: Amanda Wilkins. She’s a Technician photographer and is listed as a sophomore in horticulture science.
“I’ve only been on staff for a year as a photographer… but I stepped up to take a lot of assignments,” [Wilkins told Technician]. “[The members of the board] told me I had really good management skills and traits for a good editor. I have the skill set to get Technician back on its feet.”
Technician announces the new editor in today’s edition.