Watch now: ISU student newspaper welcomes new adviser and continues to adapt to digital | local education

BLOOMINGTON — Kellie Foy thinks the move to a fully online student newspaper at Illinois State University was a good move.

As editor of The Vidette’s first all-digital year, the decision had a big impact on Foy and her time at ISU.

“Honestly, I like it a lot more…it was hard to maintain both a journal and a website and find content for both,” Foy said.

Kellie Foy, editor of The Vidette at Illinois State University, shows the newspaper’s website at The Vidette’s offices on Wednesday.


Foy was editor last year as a junior and is returning to her senior role. She was editor in her second year, when the ISU student newspaper published its final physical edition. Last school year, Foy led a largely new staff, she said, with about 40 of the roughly 50 staff who were new to their roles.

She is happy with how the staff handled the transition and the first year of being digital only.

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“Honestly, I’m very proud and very happy with how it turned out,” she said.

Kevin Capie, the newspaper’s new adviser this year, said the return of Foy and most of the staff was a big help. It helps him learn the ropes and means students can hopefully jump right into things in the fall, without having to learn the process from scratch alongside him, he said. he declares.

“I was lucky to have a very young staff, and (Capie) is too,” Foy said.


Kellie Foy, editor of The Vidette, shows the sections of the news site, which includes videos and photo galleries. Illinois State University’s student newspaper went fully online in 2021.


Capie arrives after the retirement of John Plevka, who served as the newspaper’s adviser and managing director for a decade.

For Capie, the transition includes adapting from a large public university to a small private institution. He has taught at Bradley University in Peoria since 2015. Prior to that, he spent 20 years at the Peoria Journal-Star, including in the athletic office.

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When he applied to Bradley, he intended to try a position in marketing and communications, but ended up on the faculty openings web page, where he saw the position in strategic communications, he declared. Sports writing experience was considered an asset for the job, and a few weeks later he was in a classroom.

“It felt like I was going to teach overnight,” Capie said.


Kellie Foy, editor of The Vidette, stands next to a note left by outgoing adviser John Plevka in The Vidette’s office at Illinois State University.


Today’s focus on digital makes The Vidette journalists more employable after graduation, he said. It encourages students to go beyond a standard printed presentation of a photo and text, allowing them to learn multimedia skills that can help them land jobs in TV stations and outlets. sale unprinted.

“You might only need a tool once a year, but you have to know how to do it,” he said.

As community newsrooms across the country lose positions, student media can help provide local news, Capie said. When reporting on campus events and other topics that affect their lives, student reporters have additional context and experience that they can use to make decisions about their stories.

“Audiences have this complete take on the story,” he said.

He plans to encourage students to do so.

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Next year, Foy hopes to work with the staff to continue improving their multimedia storytelling, including finding new angles for the stories. There are also things The Vidette needs to work on from a social perspective, she said, including looking at diversity issues and making sure she’s a visible presence on campus.

She encourages all interested ISU students to get involved. She said the direct experience The Vidette provides can teach students things they wouldn’t learn in journalism class. This year also brings new opportunities, with a new advisor and the move to all-digital.

“I’m excited to see what we can do with (Capie) and where (Capie) takes us,” Foy said.

Contact Connor Wood at (309) 820-3240. Follow Connor on Twitter: @connorkwood

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