The Weekly: Sports Editor Skye Swann and Print Managing Editor Angeli Mittal talk Week 7

Erica Schmitt, Audio Editor



In this episode of The Weekly, Sports Editor Skye Swann and Print Managing Editor Angeli Mittal break down Northwestern men’s basketball’s record-breaking win against Purdue, the Spring Sports Preview and some other top headlines.


ERICA SCHMITT: From The Daily Northwestern, I’m Erica Schmitt. This is The Weekly: a podcast that breaks down our top headlines each week. Welcome to the third recap of the quarter.

ERICA SCHMITT: Today I’m here with Sports Editor Skye Swann and Print Managing Editor Angeli Mittal. They will be talking with me about the sports desk and some recent headlines at The Daily. First of all, Skye, what are some of the previous areas of the Daily that you’ve been a part of?

SKYE SWANN: I’ve served as Assistant Sports Editor for two quarters prior, and I’ve also been an Assistant Gameday Editor. On the editing role, I’ve done Development and Recruitment Editor and Newsletter Editor. So all of those different jobs have kind of helped me go into this quarter with the mindset of being able to plan and being able to just really be organized because that’s what it takes to be editor. But the adjustment, also, is just making sure for the late nights in sports, there can be stuff that is groundbreaking or things that are out of your control. So being able to just go with the flow and be able to produce anything on the fly.

ERICA SCHMITT: What does the sports editor do?

SKYE SWANN: I budget out all the sports content that is published from The Daily Northwestern and I assign my reporters to different beats and they go to the games, and they cover and we write fun features, recaps, little sidebar pieces and columns about the different sports.

ERICA SCHMITT: Skye says that this quarter, the biggest project she worked on was the Spring Sports Preview, a special edition of The Daily that was published on Feb. 16th. The issue focuses on what’s to come for the spring sports season. She says she started creating a list of planned-out stories, also known as a budget, early on in the quarter.

SKYE SWANN: This quarter as sports editor, it’s kind of like my make-or-break moment. I started creating my budget week three of the quarter, just knowing that we want to cover lacrosse, softball and baseball and trying to get kind of a precede, or what to watch for, just some key takeaways to look out for this season, some feature pieces on some of the key players from all different three teams. And also, making sure that we could get maybe a couple audio/visual aspects but that is always harder, just contacting with the athletic communications team. Once the budget was released, we had reporters take stories. Then, we tried to have most of the content come in a week before so we can talk with design and have stuff placed with the web developer, design team looking for photos and cutouts so that way, when it goes through the print night on Wednesday, we are basically smooth sailing.

ERICA SCHMITT: What has been the biggest challenge for you as an editor?

SKYE SWANN: An S.I.D. (sports information director) is an athletic communications person, so in order to go talk to an athlete, you have to go through one of the Northwestern athletic communications workers and then they will set up the interviews. The challenge has been getting the SIDs to respond. No matter the amount of bumps, emails I send, they send, it’s been, like, a no-show on their end. So that has been a challenge, but all my reporters have done a great job of being flexible and working past that obstacle.

ERICA SCHMITT: What’s some advice you would give to other women pursuing a career in sports journalism?

SKYE SWANN: Sometimes, a woman might feel discouraged being a woman in sports, as it’s a male-dominated and very, like, patriarchal, very misogynistic field of journalism. I have learned that whatever you put your mind to you can accomplish. It just takes determination and just all your top skills to get it done. Anything you want, don’t be afraid to do it because it is achievable.


ERICA SCHMITT: Angeli, you are one of the three print managing editors this quarter. How has this experience been for you so far?

ANGELI MITTAL: I’ve primarily worked with digital even though my first role at The Daily as an editor was assistant city. So it’s kind of going back to freshman year – it’s given me those vibes. Being print managing editor, like this is quite different, like editing print stories is a totally different kind of atmosphere. But I think it’s really fun. Especially because I do like to write for The Daily a lot. It’s kind of cool to come back to that and read what other people are writing about because I feel like I don’t get as much time to devote to that, to read other people’s stories. And so now that I’m editing them, I get to hear about the cool, like, education topics that are going on in Evanston, or politics, or the weird things going around on campus.

ERICA SCHMITT: As a previous digital managing editor, Angeli says she has enjoyed seeing a larger incorporation of multimedia content with print.

ANGELI MITTAL: It’s been kind of cool to see how much we’ve incorporated multimedia in print content in general, like especially with the like establishment of the data visualization desk. There are so many print stories that are going like, with graphs. There are also a lot of cool maps that I’ve been seeing in print stories, which has been very interesting. And also, there were a ton of city stories that ran with videos. That I thought, “That is a very interesting take on that.” And so it is very, very cool to see.

ERICA SCHMITT: That’s a really big change, but I’m glad you are liking it! Can you tell me about some recent print stories that you like?

ANGELI MITTAL: One that particularly hits is the Starbucks story that was written recently for campus. It was about the seemingly free items that students thought they were getting when they were purchasing things at the Starbucks in Norris (University Center) but then ended up getting retroactively charged for items. Being one of those people who lost a ton of dining dollars over that, seeing that story and hearing about other experiences like that, that really hit and I think the story was really well put together.

ERICA SCHMITT: Angeli says a favorite story of hers is from the city desk’s education beat.

ANGELI MITTAL: A story I was looking at, for like an audio piece that I thought was really good. It was about how Black students were disproportionately being given disciplinary action compared to white students at ETHS. And the two reporters who covered it did it really well and I think the quotes were so powerful. So I was really excited to read that. I’m really proud of the content that’s been going around this quarter. And I’m particularly pretty happy to be a part of that.


ERICA SCHMITT: And now for a top, history-breaking headline The Daily covered this past week: the Northwestern men’s basketball team won against No.1 ranked Purdue on Feb. 12th.

SKYE SWANN: Northwestern was projected to just not even come out with a win basically, ‘cause Purdue, their opponent, was ranked number one by AP, which is Associated Press, for Division I college basketball. So the stakes were high and Northwestern entered the game as the underdogs, but to have them come out with that nail-biting, close finish and win was pretty epic. I mean, I didn’t get to go to the game but I was watching on the TV here in the newsroom and seeing the people just storm the Welsh-Ryan arena was pretty dope.

ANGELI MITTAL: That was the first game I was gonna go to, not for The Daily – I usually photograph some of the men’s basketball games. But I went, right? And I was in the stands. And then once halftime started I was like, “Okay, there is no way we’re gonna win.” So I left. I made a mistake. I should have stayed. I didn’t actually think we were gonna win. Like apparently, we got so many points near the end of the game. Like, we were going to lose but like somehow we were just like scoring – that’s crazy.

SKYE SWANN: Senior guard Boo Buie, he like, finished with 26 points, and then (one of the other guards) redshirt senior guard Chase Audige, his shooting in the first half was just really bad. Like he could not make a good bucket, but he got like a 15-point surge in the last like, eight minutes of the game and that helped just lift the Cats up to win.

ERICA SCHMITT: That’s definitely an insane win. Thank you both for taking me through the sports desk and some top headlines from Week 7.


ERICA SCHMITT: From The Daily Northwestern, I’m Erica Schmitt. Thanks for listening to the third Weekly episode of the quarter. This episode was reported and produced by me. The audio editor of The Daily Northwestern is me, the digital managing editors are Joanne Haner and Olatunji Osho-Williams and the editor in chief is Alex Perry. Make sure to subscribe to The Daily Northwestern’s podcasts on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or SoundCloud to hear more episodes like this.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @eschmitt318

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