The Butler Collegian’s next head honcho brings more than two years of Collegian editing experience, a passion for investigative journalism and a spunky sense of humor to Butler University’s national-award-winning student newspaper.
Jill McCarter, who has served as the paper’s news editor for two consecutive years, was chosen April 13 as the paper’s next editor in chief by a selection committee.
McCarter, a junior journalism major, said she is excited to lead a staff of student reporters, editors and artists as they hone their journalism skills and act as Butler’s student watchdogs.
“I’m hoping to take the paper to an even higher level than it is now,” McCarter said. “There are a lot of opportunities to build off of what we’ve put together this year and add to the legacy in a different way.”
McCarter was largely responsible for The Collegian bringing home the top honors from national, regional and statewide contests during this academic year, including five individual awards for her reporting, editing and design.
McCarter brings a wide theoretical and technical skill set to The Collegian, including five semesters of Collegian experience. She will continue to hone her journalistic skills this summer in her hometown at a reporting internship at the Evansville Courier and Press.
McCarter said she wants to expand on The Collegian’s coverage area, including adding more coverage of Butler’s student organizations and looking more closely at what goes on in each of Butler’s six academic colleges.
“I want to continue shedding light on important issues that people are talking about but don’t necessarily know all about,” McCarter said.
In January, McCarter was selected as one of 75 journalism students nationwide to participate in the Campus Coverage Project, an intensive investigative reporting training program at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Expanding The Collegian’s social media presence is also important to McCarter.
“We have to continue to engage our audience in many different ways to show that we’re there,” McCarter said. “We want to reach out beyond a once-a-week newspaper and continue the conversation online each day.”
Loni McKown has worked with McCarter both in her capacity as The Collegian’s adviser and as a professional practice faculty member in the Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism.
“Jill’s strengths are her passion and dedication to The Collegian,” McKown said. “She is an excellent story idea brainstormer and a strong writer.”
McKown said she anticipates a strong Collegian staff next year.
“What I’m looking forward to next year is building on the achievements of this year,” McKown said. “It’s exciting that we’re going to retain many people from this year’s staff who will bring a lot of skills and talent with them.”
Sophomore Colin Likas, the current sports editor, said he is looking forward to working with McCarter next year in his new role as print managing editor.
“I’m excited to work with Jill, because I think we will make a good leadership duo,” Likas said. “I think we can make the paper even better.”
Senior Sara Pruzin, the current print managing editor, said she is confident that McCarter has the reporting and writing skills it takes to lead The Collegian.
“She’s done a really good job of running her section this year,” Pruzin said. “I feel like as a graduating senior that I’m leaving the paper in good hands.”
McCarter said she looks forward to working with next year’s staff.
“The best part about working for The Collegian is that at the end of the day, I know I work with people who really are able to stand behind what we’ve done,” McCarter said. “I don’t know what I would do without them.”
With her new staff behind her, McCarter said she ultimately is most excited about continuing to serve the Butler community through journalism.
“The Collegian is a great liaison between different colleges, students, administrators and faculty members,” McCarter said. “We’re also a watchdog to make sure that people are held accountable, to make sure people are doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”