Archive for April, 2020

Meet the 2020-’21 Editorial Board

Editor-in-Chief Gabi DiPaulo
News and Managing Editor Austin De Dios

Multimedia Editor Brennan Crowder
Living Editor Havi Stewart

Opinion Editor/ Sr. Photographer Jennifer Ng
Sports Editor William Seekamp
Copy Editor/Sr. Reporter Carlos Fuentes
Community Engagement Editor Ally Weberg

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Editor-in-Chief Claire Desmarais “passing” the crown to her successor Gabi DiPaulo

Gabi DiPaulo, EIC for 2020 – 2021

A toast, Zoom-style!

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The first known direct impact of COVID-19 on the University of Portland hit in late February, when the deadly virus derailed the E-Scholars spring break trip to South Korea and Japan.

The Beacon staff has been hard at work ever since, covering what is now a worldwide pandemic, and has not let up, even though the campus is effectively shut down and classes are online.

All-staff story pitch meetings and the weekly Editorial Board meetings have continued almost seamlessly on Zoom.

Interviews are over the phone, video conference or via email. The editing process, which has been a collaborative online process for years on Google Docs, has also continued with little disruption. The weekly newsletter continues, and is packed with UP-centric coverage related to Covid-19. Likewise, Beacon social media channels continue to provide daily updates.

Opinion editor Dora Totoian did a crowdsourcing project, asking students and faculty for feedback on how online classes were going.

Beacon Instagram
Claire Desmarais leads a Beacon staff meeting on Zoom.

Editor-in-Chief Claire Desmarais created a special landing page on The Beacon website for all Beacon Covid-19 coverage, as well as a private Facebook group for UP students called “Pilots Navigating the New Normal.”

News and Managing Editor Maddie Pfeifer has worked tirelessly leading the ongoing breaking coverage.

Photo illustration by Beacon photographer Jennifer Ng

The biggest challenge has been photography, since everyone is away from campus and scattered. Yet Beacon photographers have been creative with photo illustrations and file photos, and have solicited photo submissions from readers and other sources.

Click on the image above to view a powerful group photo essay and personal narratives about quarantine by Beacon photographers and videographers.

Our video producer, Taylor Ursulum, who lives in Hawaii, produced this video on quarantine grocery shopping.

Claire was recently quoted in a Portland State University Vanguard article about how student newspapers are rising to the occasion:

Claire Desmarais, editor in chief of The Beacon, stated, “a large part of our reporting and how we obtain information comes from having established relationships with club leaders, faculty/staff, students and the administration. We use social media and word-of-mouth to find pieces of information, and then go on to confirm that information with sources on the record.” 

Below is a sampling of screenshots of some of the coverage so far.

Students, faculty and staff continue to contribute to The Beacon opinions section, despite the campus shutdown.
Beacon Facebook post
Reporter Austin De Dios wrote this important story and many other Covid-related articles.
This piece about students on Studies Abroad scrambling to get home was Dora Totoian’s final Beacon article. Dora joined The Beacon as a freshman four years ago. She graduates May 3

UP’s (virtual) graduation on May 3 will mark the official end of Beacon publishing for this academic year. But, after interviewing applicants on Zoom, incoming Editor-in-Chief Gabi DiPaulo has already hired the 2020-21 Beacon staff. Here’s hoping for a healthy, safe and calmer fall semester.

-Nancy Copic, Ass’t Director for Student Media & adviser to The Beacon

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