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‘The Online F—ing Pacemaker’

Under Stover, temple-news.com became more user-friendly.

COURTESY CHRIS STOVER

Stover led The Temple News from ‘08-’09, when the paper redesigned its website. | COURTESY CHRIS STOVER

A lot of the stories from the 2008-2009 class of The Temple News involve words that are best left out of print.

Most of that is thanks to Chase Utley.

This is the year that the Phillies won the World Series, and we ran an award-winning photo essay called “World @&#%ing Champions!” – inspired, of course, by Utley’s infamous words broadcast throughout the city.

It’s the year that Barack Obama won a historic presidential election just one week after the World Series. Revelers once again filled Broad Street.

And, I believe, it’s the year The Temple News as we know it today became a pioneer in collegiate multimedia journalism. And the evidence is in the product.

I still get crazy looks when I tell people that I, a broadcast journalist, was the editor of my college paper. They’re the same looks I got at Temple when I recruited people to join.

What role does a broadcast journalist have in a print product? Every role.

COURTESY CHRIS STOVER

COURTESY CHRIS STOVER

We redesigned temple-news.com into a more user-friendly website. We increased our multimedia presence tenfold by including photo slideshows and video packages – once rarities for Temple’s student media.

The work paid off. We won what many consider among the most prestigious of collegiate journalism awards, the ACP Online Pacemaker, or as we dubbed it, the OFP – “Online @&#%ing Pacemaker.” Thanks, Chase.

Our staff included journalists from all majors – print, magazine, broadcast and photo – who put in a collective 400 hours of manpower to produce just one issue of The Temple News.

We proved in just 30 issues that we weren’t student journalists. We weren’t newspaper journalists or broadcast journalists or photojournalists. We were journalists.

We covered the presidential election next to reporters from CNN and Fox News. We analyzed crime statistics around Temple’s campus. And we earned respect from both the student body and the higher-ups.

But, we weren’t perfect.

We made our in-house deadline once. Having all pages done by 9 p.m. Monday isn’t easy, and the one time we actually achieved it was for the final issue of the year.

Our layout software didn’t have the most reliable spell check. I learned to think again when you question how your chief copy editor could have misspelled a word in her front-page, above-the-fold story. There’s only one T in the middle of ‘commitment.’ Not two, like I erroneously added at the last second.

I paraphrased Chase for the rest of that week. But I haven’t spelled that word wrong since.

COURTESY CHRIS STOVER

COURTESY CHRIS STOVER

In my final Letter from the Editor in 2009, I wrote:

“I think I can speak for many of the staff members of The Temple News with my analysis of the past year. Working at the paper has been the most exhausting, most stressful, most time-consuming job we could’ve found.”

And yet I can assure you that four years later, not one of the staff members I had the privilege to work with would take it back.

Today, I’m a television anchor and reporter in Charlottesville, Va., and I still brag about my time at The Temple News to my coworkers, my interview subjects and my poor, poor interns. And it’s something I will continue bragging about for the rest of my life.

The words may not always be fit to print, but the memories are indelible.

Chris Stover was editor-in-chief in 2008-9. He now works as a weekend anchor and general assignment reporter for the Charlottesville Newsplex.

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