Northern Star redefined in the digital era


Zulfiqar Ahmed | Northern Star

Paginator Jordan Radloff (left) and Editor-in-Chief Wes Sanderson work in the office on the 2021 Back-to-School print edition.

By Wes Sanderson

Dear Readers,

Welcome back to campus! After over a year of being apart, we have finally reached the juncture of returning to a sense of normalcy. For new and returning students, faculty and readers, welcome to the Northern Star. We are the student-run and operated news organization for NIU and our surrounding community.

Over the last year, the Northern Star has been excited for our return to a normal routine— the opportunity to serve our communities in a larger role and provide content that interests you, the reader. But, like so many things, the Northern Star is different coming back from COVID-19.

This past academic year, the Northern Star went to work internally to answer one key question: how can we reach you, the audience, better? Throughout this process, the point became clear that building the Northern Star into not just a news organization but a media entity was the best way to go. Our goal going forward is two-fold. Number one will always be to inform you. The Star is an award-winning college press, and we intend to maintain the tradition of quality and impactful reporting that we have been known for. The second is to entertain. As the media landscape continues to move digital, entertainment and the ability to entertain while still informing has become such a needed thing. 

We’ve built new products along with reimagining existing products to fit this vision.

“Red Black Football” hosted by Sports Editor James Krause is set to return with a larger format bringing in guests from across the MAC to discuss NIU football from the people who cover it week in, week out.

Our new student-centric newsletter TLDR will be coming to your inboxes, breaking down the news you missed while you were out living your life. TLDR will give you the news with a personality behind the words.

Lastly, once a week, “Ruff Talk: Northern Unfiltered” will debut. A  video podcast centered around college topics of conversations. It’ll be edgy, sometimes a bit explicit, but it will always be engaging with you.

You, the audience member, were at the heart of every decision we made because we understand your time and trust are invaluable commodities. We want to know what’s on your mind and important to you and encourage you to reach out to us on Twitter @NIUNorthernStar or [email protected].

The community we serve means more to us because we are also a part of that community. College is a unique space in that, for four years, you make this place your second home. It’s time we get back to covering it.

Have a great school year!

Wes Sanderson, Editor-in-Chief and the entire Northern Star Staff