Youngtown begins: origin of a campus newspaper

Staff Writer

In its 47-year history, one of the things that has been as consistent at The County College of Morris as its Randolph location has been the Youngtown Edition, the student operated newspaper.

In terms of establishment, the County College of Morris is relatively young in the higher education scene. The college first opened in 1968 featured a single building known as Henderson Hall. Soon enough, however, construction began on the buildings that complete today’s campus skyline.

The first class consisted of 592 full-time and 703 part-time students. Enrollment grew quickly, and by the fall of 1969, five additional buildings were under way: the library, later named the Sherman H. Masten Learning Resource Center after CCM’s first president; Sheffield Hall; the Physical Education Building; the Student Community Center and a service building; all completed by 1970. In the fall of 1973, two additional academic buildings, Cohen and DeMare Halls, were completed.

As the 22 acre campus continued to develop, the expansion of student clubs and organizations did as well. Among them emerged the first true source of news designed specifically for CCM students, the Youngtown Edition.

But the name of the campus staple didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it didn’t even appear on the masthead by the time the first issue went to press. Interestingly enough, the paper was not given this name until its second edition; in fact, the first edition featured a questionnaire surveying the student body’s opinion on the newspaper’s namesake.

One of the newspaper’s first editors, MaryJane Canose recalls the naming process.

During the big name debate, she recalls looking at a map of the college with the intention of finding the paper’s namesake nearby.

“Who knew? This mountain the college is on, is called the Youngtown Mountain,” Canose said.

Thus, the Youngtown Edition became the foundation of student news, reflective of the foundation on which the college itself was built. Aside from the Youngtown Edition, other suggestions for names included Ides of Morris, County Crescent, Changing Times, Collegiate, Profit, The Voice From the Hill, and County Column.

Canose said the process of putting the paper together back in the 1960’s and 70’s was very different from how the paper is assembled today. In the absence of computers, the first Youngtown staff collected the stories for each issue, and then used a typesetter for the actual writing process. A typesetter is a person who arranges blocks with letters and symbols on them so that they can be used for printing.

Once the stories were typed up, the layout was figured out using an old-fashioned light board. Finally, it was time for the issue to be sent to print.

Now, the Youngtown Edition is a fully modernized operation. But despite the fact that stories are submitted via e-mail and Google Drive and laid out in the MAC lab in Emiriti hall, the fundamentals haven’t changed.

“We are still a campus-first newspaper,” said Russ Crespolini, Youngtown advisor. “This is a student-run operation all the way. They decide on the stories, they do the writing, the editing and the layout. That is the way it was in 1968 and it is still that way in 2015.”

Crespolini said that sticking to the basics is what has allowed the paper to endure.

“We still focus on good journalism. On telling a good story,” Crespolini said. “And that is universal. We make our share of mistakes, but we are incredibly proud of what is produced here. And it has been like that for 47 years.”

Editor-in-Chief Derek Allen emphasized that another thing that hasn’t changed is the need for constant student involvement.

“We are always looking for writers and editors,” Allen said. “There is a high rate of turnover because we are a two-year school for the most part. So you can move up quickly through the ranks and gain experience and a nice line for your resume.”

Crespolini said there were more benefits than academic for working on the paper.

“We also have a lot of fun,” Crespolini said.


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