TKS named best non-daily student paper in region


The Knox Student has been named the best all-around non daily student newspaper in Region 5 (including Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky) by the Society of Professional Journalists.

The award was announced Saturday during the SPJ Region 5 conference in Chicago. TKS was judged regionally against other non-daily student newspapers — regardless of school size — with three random issues from the 2013 calendar year.

This is huge news for TKS, especially coming off a strong showing at the Illinois College Press Association conference in February. And while these recognitions are always welcome, we still want to know how we can serve our readers better. Story suggestions can be submitted here, emailed to, or sent directly to me at

Other recent awards include 4th place for News Story of the Year from Associated Collegiate Press, along with 18 awards from the Illinois College Press Association.

The Society of Professional Journalists is one of the nation’s leading journalism organizations, and it sets the journalistic ethics code generally used as an industry standard.

TKS gets 4th place for ACP News Story of the Year

I’ve gotten word that a TKS story has been awarded fourth place in the Associated Collegiate Press News Story of the Year contest — a national competition that pitted us against student publications at institutions like Syracuse, UCLA and the University of Illinois.

This calls for congratulations to the story’s co-authors: Matt McKinney, former enterprise editor who is now pursuing his master’s degree in at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, and Kate Mishkin, a current co-mosaic editor. Their reporting on Galesburg residents who had been banned from campus deserves the high praise.

TKS also garnered an honorable mention in the editorial category for our Thoughts from the Embers titled “Don’t let tuition hit $50,000,” which questioned whether Knox’s facilities and services warranted such a high price tag.

What’s a Megenity? (A note on names)

9924649685_38797605c6_oYou’ve probably noticed by now that my byline has changed in TKS. Well, there’s a simple explanation.

Here’s the note I ran in the Discourse section this week explaining the change:

Most of you probably know me as Charlie Gorney. Don’t worry, it’s still me.

No, the supposed editor-in-chief was not replaced by someone else named Charlie. And no, I did not wake up one morning and realize that I had been living my life with the wrong name.

When my wife (who you may know as Erin Besaw) and I got married over the summer, we decided to take on a new last name. While we have yet to go through the legal name change process, I decided to change my byline in TKS to avoid any mid-year confusion.

I hope everyone is getting a good start to the term. I know TKS certainly is.

For those of you who are wondering about the new name, it’s Erin’s grandmother’s maiden name.

#KnoxObama speech: Who to follow, what to look for

(I realize this is my inaugural blog post as editor-in-chief. So there’s that.)

TKS is gearing up for Obama’s speech at Knox College today, and here’s how you can follow along with the coverage.

I, along with Digital Editor Chelsea Embree and Copy Editor Gabrielle Rajerison, are in town to cover the speech. We’ll all be pretty active on Twitter, so follow our main account @theknoxstudent, I’ll be at @Charlie_Gorney, and you can find Chelsea and Gabby at @chelseeandsay and @likeserendipity, respectively.

You can also like us on Facebook, where we will be posting our coverage throughout the day.

Feel free to tweet us your questions and observations about the speech.

The speech

Though the exact contents of the speech have not been publicized, we do know the general topic: The Economy. President Obama plans to lay out his economic ideas that will invariably influence his economic policy plans for the rest of his presidency.

And we know that the choice of Knox College as the venue was a strategic move, as he may hearken back to his 2005 commencement address — in which he laid out his economic ideas about how the economy grows best “from the middle-out, not the top down.”

The speech will be streaming at White House Live.

Make sure to follow along throughout the day with The Knox Student.

It’s a small, small world: Knox’s Mitt Romney connection

“Be suspicious about anything that everyone else believes.”

-Patrick Graham ’62

If we’re going by the self-reported data, Knox is a pretty liberal campus. I’d say it’s hard to dispute that, though we do have political organizations spanning a wide range of the political spectrum. But as I found out in recent weeks, we can’t discount the possibility of connections to the other side of the aisle.

Knox likes to tout its connection to President Barack Obama. He gave a commencement speech here, and he holds an honorary doctorate (just like Stephen Colbert). But earlier this term, what I thought was the election story of the year fell right into my lap — and at first, it seemed to me entirely antithetical to our conception of Knox.

I was perusing the Knox website, looking over the profiles of our trustees, when I stopped at one of the life trustees (a former trustee given an honorary title, much like Roger Taylor is now president emeritus) — Patrick Graham, class of 1962. His profile is rather unassuming; there was no photo and a brief description. But here’s the part that caught my eye: co-founder and former director of Bain & Company. The precursor to Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital. Yeah, that one.

So I did some digging and called him up. Turns out that Graham was a Galesburg native, and not only did he help to start Bain & Company — he personally recruited Romney to the consulting firm and later pushed today’s GOP nominee toward political life.

Before I did my reporting, I was in something of a state of shock. To my knowledge, “Bain” was a scummy word associated with questionable business practices and “shipping jobs overseas.” But then I did the reporting. And then the Knox connection made more sense.

It turns out that when Graham and Bill Bain went to set up their consulting firm, they aimed for a more ethical business model, and they felt they had the brains to be just as successful as the Boston Consulting Group, the well-established firm they left. Most telling was Graham’s explanation of what he learned at Knox: learning how to question predominant assumptions.

Full article: The man behind Mitt Romney

Just for the record, this is off the record

This is now my third year with TKS. I started as a reporter, moved up to news editor last year, and this year I’ve stepped into the managing editor position. And each year, as people come to associate me with the newspaper, I’ve heard more often that dreaded cry from a friend or acquaintance – generally someone we can call a ‘public figure’ on campus.

It goes something like this.

‘Oh, I shouldn’t be saying this in front of you. Now it’s going to be in the TKS next week.’

Well, not quite.

Sure, the reporter in me always has what I like to call the ‘story antennas’ up at all times, and Anna and I ask that TKS staffers do the same. We prefer to base our coverage on what students are talking about or what they’d like to learn more about – not just on official proceedings or scheduled events. But don’t take that the wrong way.

The story antennas should not be mistaken for a 24/7 mental voice recorder, always prepped to grab a sound byte. Essentially, my personal and professional policy on the matter states that it’s off the record unless otherwise stated or assumed in an interview setting. While I may want to pursue a story based on some thoughts I’ve gleaned from a casual conversation, by no means was that conversation on the record.

So remember that I, along with other TKS staffers, may be journalists at heart, but we’re Knox students before we’re The Knox Student. Don’t stray away from casual discourse for fear of being quoted, because I’ll make myself damn clear if I’m looking for a quote.

P.S. I can hear Anna’s cry of joy as I post this. I used to be a blogophobe, but I have since come around. Thanks for reading the Editors’ Blog, everyone.

Musings of a senior

The hectic pace of senior year makes every activity, however mundane or seemingly conducive to relaxation, a chore. From the moment I wake up, my mind starts to preoccupy itself with what the day has in store, from the pile of clothes I just put into the dryer, to the never ending set of meetings and correspondences that have to be made.

Even daily prayer and the intake of God’s Word have declined in precedence because I am oft-too tired to get up in the early morning; and at night, my mind is dismally out of focus. There just is not enough daylight! I marvel at how quickly the fresh canopy smell of the morning dissipates like a mist, giving way to the moldy scent of evening and night. Still, I do not resent the fullness of my schedule. Better to have the mind and body taxed for purposeful things than to let it waste away thinking of things to do.

So inspired was I by the thought of life as constant activity that this clumsy limerick pushed itself onto a word page I had opened:

The life of a Knox senior sucks,

Some days I just feel out of luck.

Cause my schedule is full,

And my pillow’s got drool,

And I almost get hit by a truck.

(The last line is not true of me, but of someone else I do not know. A friend saw this unknown person get hit – must have been a senior preoccupied with something).

Working for The Knox Student is a new experience. I have enjoyed my tenure so far because the logistics of everything are so expertly handled by the higher-ups. The first official issue of the newspaper is in the works, which means that the following two nights will be spent carefully sifting through piles of articles.

Copy editing is not as easy as it sounds. I like to think that copy editors are the first line of defense. We man the trenches as enemies of poor structure, awful punctuation, biased writing and general BS try to get past. Though the enemy outnumbers us, the intersecting crisscross trajectory of our machine gun fire will be sure to cut many down. If that does not finish the job, our batons – that is, our pens – are filed to a delicate and deadly point.