News is what you give us

At the risk of sounding like an over-played 1917 World War I poster, “The Northern Star Wants You.”

Indeed, much like Uncle Sam’s now-famous slogan encouraged many recruits to join the army during America’s involvement in the first World War, we would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to actively help us do our jobs.

To do that, we first need to step back and define those very titles. According to our Staff Manual, the Northern Star’s mission is twofold:

1. To provide the NIU community primarily with coverage of news and events taking place at the university, and secondarily with news pertaining to the city of DeKalb, Illinois, the nation and the world;

2. To provide a modern, laboratory-like setting, fashioned after commercial newspapers, for all NIU students interested in working in the various aspects of a newspaper for the purpose of gaining experience.

This means our first priority is to provide our readers with news of what is happening on campus, as well as in the City of DeKalb, the state of Illinois and the United States.

Now that our responsibilities are clear, here is where our readers’ responsibilities come into play.

As a student-run newspaper, we cannot always be expected to know exactly what is happening on campus at every moment of every day. We, much like you, also are governed by class, homework and test schedules. We do our best to try and cover every event possible in a fair way.

There are, however, times when events or activities fall through the cracks and do not receive coverage. We regret not being able to provide every group or organization with the voice they deserve on campus.

Nevertheless, there is a solution.

To help each event, activity and meeting find its voice on our pages, we encourage those in charge of said organizations to help us do our jobs better by informing us when such events occur.

Whether it is by stopping in our office at the Campus Life Building, Suite 130, visiting our Web site at, or by calling us at 753-0101, there is always someone available to discuss any ideas or concerns our readers may have.

With that being said, our readers also should keep in mind that we are a news organization, not a public relations firm. We, as a newspaper, represent those individuals who are not involved in an organization, not those who already are.

One of the biggest factors we take into consideration when deciding whether to cover a story or where to place a story is how many readers it affects. The largest numbers, therefore, get the most prominent coverage and place on the page.

With everyone’s help, it is possible to find a happy medium that produces an effective amount of news coverage while at the same time giving the necessary voice to every student on campus.

Agree? Disagree? Contact us at