Join The Daily
September 3, 2016
The Daily Northwestern is the only daily print publication covering Northwestern and Evanston. More than 100 students work together every day to produce and curate content for our website and print publication.
All Northwestern students are welcome to join The Daily. No prior journalism experience is required — our editors teach all new staffers everything they need to know.
Read more about all The Daily’s desks below. Typically, staffers work for one to three desks at The Daily each quarter. Staffers can try new desks each quarter or find the one they like best and stick around forever (or at least until they graduate). Once you know what desk or desks you want to join, you can fill out our sign-up form here. An editor will email you with details on how to get started once you fill out the form. We’re excited to meet you!
If you have questions about joining The Daily, please email our Development and Recruitment editor at [email protected].
Reporting and Writing
Development and Recruitment
The Development and Recruitment desk (Devo) works with all students interested in joining The Daily’s reporting desks. We help new reporters find stories and guide them through their first three articles for The Daily. No prior journalism skills are necessary to join The Daily and start the Devo process — any NU student can join! The Devo editors work with new writers to answer any questions they have about The Daily and teach them how our stories are formatted and how our editing process works. New writers can complete the Devo process at their own pace. Once writers graduate from Devo after completing their third story, they contribute regularly to the desk or desks they choose to join.
At the Campus Desk, you get front-row access to the hottest issues at one of the country’s most vibrant universities. From being a leader in breaking campus news to making national headlines with our investigative journalism, our writers report on the most important issues facing Northwestern. As with our other desks, Campus takes home awards every year from the hard work reporters dedicate to telling the stories of their passionate, unpredictable university. Campus reporters cover special events such as President Barack Obama’s visit to campus last year, interview campus leaders about the latest student government initiatives, examine lawsuits involving NU and much more.
The City Desk covers all things Evanston: from politics to business to education, city reporters interview local politicians, officials and residents to report on the most important issues affecting the Evanston community. Our reporters often get the chance to speak with state representatives and senators while covering Illinois politics relevant to Evanston. Our coverage outside Northwestern’s campus means The Daily not only serves an audience of students, employees and alumni but the entire Evanston community of 75,000 people. Join the City Desk to learn more about the community outside campus and gain valuable real-world journalism experience.
Sports Desk reporters cover all 19 Northwestern varsity sports teams. No previous sports writing experience is necessary, and only a basic understanding of sports is needed. Reporters have amazing access to players and coaches in one of the most interesting D1 conferences in the country: The Big Ten. Sports reporters cover games and practices and often write feature stories on the team or teams they cover regularly. Many sports reporters also have the opportunity to travel to cover some of the most important games, and in the past have journeyed to cover Northwestern’s impressive performance at the 2013 Gator Bowl in Florida and the Wildcats’ upset victory over Notre Dame last year in Indiana.
Opinion Desk writers craft informative and persuasive columns on topics that impact Northwestern students. They write regular columns (usually on a weekly or bi-weekly basis) expressing their views on issues important to them and their community. The opinion editors work closely with all columnists to improve their writing throughout their time at The Daily. The Opinion Desk is an outstanding place to enhance your ability to write thoughtful arguments and provide a substantial, intelligent audience for your writing.
The Spectrum is a forum within The Daily’s opinion section dedicated to spotlighting marginalized voices. Writing for The Spectrum gives you the chance to tell your unique story, whatever it is. We want voices that have felt that they did not have a place in other arenas to step up and speak out on their experiences and opinions — because they are valid. No previous writing experience necessary. If you have something to share, we’ll help you develop your ideas and tell your story. Any Northwestern student can submit a column to The Spectrum — many of our Spectrum pieces have been written by guest columnists — but regular Daily staffers also often contribute columns to The Spectrum.
The Arts and Entertainment section covers all things creative in the Evanston and Northwestern communities. From alumni acting in Chicago’s newest hit theater production to students creating a record label to Evanston residents starring in their own reality TV show, A&E is The Daily’s hub of arts and entertainment-related content. The section is printed each Thursday and features creative graphic design as well as alternative story formats like Q&As, listicles, photo essays and features. The desk gives writers the unique opportunity to report on what they’re truly passionate about across campus and beyond! (Plus, reporters often have the chance to interview famous people and cover shows downtown for free!)
The In Focus desk produces The Daily’s in-depth features and investigative stories. In the past, In Focuses have probed Northwestern’s sexual assault policies, services for low-income students, mental health resources, drinking culture and diversity efforts. Reporters often devote several months to a story. Typically, reporters work for The Daily for at least three full quarters before they are ready to write an In Focus.
The photo desk allows you capture events on campus, on stage, on the field and in Evanston to give people the feeling of truly being at an event. Daily photographers get access to major events from Dance Marathon to concerts at major Chicago venues. If you join the Photo Desk, you’ll learn to take masterful photos regardless of prior experience. Joining the Photo Desk is an easy way to start working at The Daily and get to know how a publication works in a very behind-the-scenes (or behind-the-camera) way, as well as learning a valuable journalistic skills. Staffers are encouraged to work for both the Photo Desk and a reporting desk — not only will you be able to write your stories, you’ll be able to photograph them too!
The Daily Design Desk is responsible for the layout and overall design of the print edition of the paper and for designing informative graphics for the website. Designers not only do basic layout, but also have the opportunity to create graphics for stories, get creative with our Arts & Entertainment section and build their portfolios if they want to pursue design professionally. Perhaps the most awesome part is that no experience whatsoever is necessary. You’ll be trained in and have access to industry-standard design programs including Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.
The Copy Desk checks every story for factual accuracy, stylistic consistency and grammar! Members of copy desk familiarize themselves with both standard AP Style and The Daily’s own stylebook and also brush up on their own writing skills as they check others’ stories to make sure they’re ready for publication. As a result, working for the Copy Desk is also a good way to get to know The Daily’s publication process as you track stories’ progress through the system. And if you’re looking to go into publishing in the future, editing is an essential skill to have. If you’re not a grammar nut already, we’ll teach you!
The Web Desk offers an array of opportunities for staffers with a variety of strengths. As a web desk contributor, you can work on page design, create interactive graphics, write tweets and Facebook posts, manage The Daily’s home page, analyze readership statistics and pretty much anything else relating to The Daily’s online presence. Whether you have years of coding experience or can hardly open an Internet browser, you can contribute in one way or another to the Web Desk.
Photos by Sean Su.