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2000s

Decade team: Adam Calder, Brady Carney and Josie Fey (captain).

“Objectivity, that's the old standard people thought you could reach.  You can't reach objectivity, or if you can it would be a pretty boring story.”

Mark Witherspoon, Daily Adviser

Conflict was a reoccurring theme in the first half of the 1990s. At the turn of the century, hopes were high for new beginnings, and it was evident in The Daily's news. Grades were now being posted on Access Plus, a campus-wide intranet, instead of mailed to students, “"Next Friday"” hit the box office, and George W. Bush replaced President Bill Clinton in the White House after a narrow election in the pivotal state of Florida.

The conflict that dominated the decade occurred on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. The World Trade Center twin towers in New York City and the Pentagon building just outside Washington, D.C., were crashed into and bombed by hijacked aircrafts.  More than 3,000 were wounded, killed and missing. Both towers in New York came crashing to the ground.

Steffen Schmidt, a political science professor, observed in the following days Daily:This is the biggest thing that has happened since the bombing of Pearl Harbor … During World War I, we were never attacked by enemy forces. This is an attack on the mainland, and the civilian casualties are huge.”

This issue of TheDaily was the most important of the decade. It contained a timeline of events from the previous day, a picture of the towers just after the collision and editorials from various members of the community. The United States would eventually be drawn into war and, in the issues to follow, the coverage continued.

On a more local level later that school year, in February of 2002, three Daily editors were fired for posing in a picture that would be included in a satirical advertisement for “Toons,” a weekly tabloid devoted to cartoons. It was titled, “"More Nice Girls" at ISU.” The cartoon had tongue-in-cheek traits next to their names, such as editor of “obscenities and slander for” Sara Tennessen, “tomfoolery and fiction” for Valerie Dennis and “libel and maliciousness” for Wendy Weiskirchev, the three who were forced out.

Editor-in-Chief Andrea Hauser wrote in the story that announced the dismissals: “I trust The Daily staff to be up front every day with new information they present and how they represent the paper, and that’s something I have to take seriously.

“Whether or not our readers believe that [the Toons advertisement] is the truth, it does reflect on The Daily in a negative way, and it is directly attributed to them [the editors]. There’s nothing in there saying ‘this is a joke’ or ‘this is directly what they said.’ And to anyone who’s just reading that, it would affect their perception of the paper,” she said.

The three editors said they were shocked at the firings but did not ultimately appeal their terminations. An onslaught of letters to the editor followed. One, form a journalism professor in New Jersey, claimed Hauser, not her three editors, had acted unprofessionally because the cartoon was obviously satire. Richard Lem, editor of “Toons,” even challenged Hauser to a duel. GSB even looked into the matter, and the Pub. Board considered changing policy and not allowed the top editor the power to fire sub-editors.

The sports story of the decade was the undefeated  career of wrestler Cael Sanderson, who would eventually win a gold medal in Athens in the Summer 2004 Olympics. Sanderson, a native of Utah, subsequently became an assistant coach for his mentor, Bobby Douglas, who also coached the U.S. Olympic team.

In typical fashion, the spring 2004 conflict that provided many stories for the ISU Daily was on a large scale.  Riots broke out during the VEISHEA celebration of the year.  It received national news coverage.

Several articles about the riot aftermath permeated TheDaily's coverage in the summer.  Task forces were convened, meetings were held and committees investigated.  Time after time the reports were the same:  students are to blame, the police did their jobs and the future of VEISHEA is forever tainted.

The latest event under this decade's umbrella of big conflict would be the Presidential election of 2004.  Republican incumbent George Bush would defeat Senator John Kerry in one of the most heated and split elections of the modern day.

The Daily also reported that alumnus Ted Kooser, the U.S. poet laureate, had won the Pulitzer Prizer for poetry for his collection “"Delights and Shadows".” The 1965 ISU graduate is a visiting professor of English at the University of Nebraska.

Lucas Grundmeier, the 2004-05 editor, will be replaced by Tom Barton in the fall of 2005.

 

 

         

 

     

 

   
 
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