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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

First-ever written managing editor graduates

Bridgette Fox’s goodbye
Nyla Owens
Written Managing Editor Bridgette Fox smiles in a Northern Star t-shirt. Fox will graduate Dec. 17 with a bachelor’s degree in English. (Nyla Owens | Northern Star)

You better cry while reading this.

I started working at the Northern Star as its only copy editor in Fall 2022. I asked then-Editor-in-Chief Madelaine Vikse if I could hire more copy editors. After she said yes, I became chief copy editor.

Before I hired the first copy editor, I remember writing articles for the news team for any last minute coverage. I had never taken a journalism class, and I only had training from the Northern Star’s Adviser Shelley Hendricks. I think I did pretty well, as evidenced by my first article, “El Grito launches Latino Heritage Month celebrations at NIU.”

Not the best headline, but I remember being proud.

I was also obsessed with covering breaking news I picked up from the police scanner we had in the office. 

My love of news meant I was a natural hire for the Spring 2023 news editor, a position I fell in love with.

I made some of my best friends at the Star. The shared love and passion we have for covering NIU’s news, arts and sports scene has satisfied my nosy personality like nothing else in my whole life.

My friends at the Star said they’re sad because I’m leaving, even though I said I’ll be around after graduation (I don’t live far from the office, and my partner is an editor this semester, so I’ll definitely visit). But the truth is, I won’t be around as much as some of them want.

I’ve been applying for jobs and touring TV stations. I’ll be learning new skills, and I’ll be moving on from the Northern Star. I won’t be editing all of their pieces and telling them to replace demonstratives with nouns/noun phrases or to make their ledes more fun.

So, before I go, here are some tips in lieu of my beautiful presence (with some second-person pronouns):



This tip has nothing to do with grammar. Some new student journalists get a little in their own head about what needs to be written. Don’t get concerned about the small details, just pretend what you’re writing about is the most interesting thing in the world – because to someone, it really is.

Try to consider every question someone might have, and think about the interesting details other journalists might miss. Be as invested in your writing as you’d want someone else to be, and eventually they will.



All right, usually I’d just say “leave this to your editor, don’t sweat it,” but literally (and I mean literally) NO ONE listens to that advice. You all keep sweating the commas.

But I’ll say it again.

Don’t stop writing your article because of the commas. Watch some YouTube tutorials on how to use commas. Take a fundamentals of English grammar course. Talk to your editor about how to use commas. 

Don’t hold back or feel like you’re not smart enough just because of commas. Your content is more important, and your editor is paid to know how to work with commas.

But dear Lord, don’t use a comma before “because” to connect two clauses. I’ll make fun of you for that.

Editor’s note: That last part is sarcasm.



I’ve had reporters be pretty anxious that articles aren’t turning out the way they think I want them to. Listen to me very carefully, Northern Star staffers:

Do not get caught up in what you think your editor wants a story to be.

I don’t mean “ignore your editor,” I mean “don’t try pushing a narrative in your article just because you want to make your editor happy.”

Make your editor happy by being honest about your findings – by being a journalist.



Thank you to our advisers Shelley and Maria, the editor team (new and old from every semester) for pushing me, for having high expectations, and for being excited when the future is peeking its head around the corner.

Thank you to everyone who saw me as a resource (really though, guys, just look it up in the AP stylebook, I don’t have it memorized) who could make their work better.

Thank you to everyone who always tried to do more than the bare minimum. Your work is appreciated, and I saw the effort you put in. I hope everyone is never satisfied with anything less than your best effort.



Bridgette Fox, written managing editor

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