Read all about it: A conversation at the Collegian

John Hult

John Hult

Q: Please state your name for the record.

A: Todd Justin VanDerWerff

Q: And your position is?

A: I am the editor-in-chief of the Collegian.

Q: What’s your major?

A: I’m a journalism/theatre/English major. Most people change their majors. I just kept adding them.

Q: Hometown?

A: I’m from Armour, S.D. I’m part of the secret Armour cabal that runs the school, along with student regent (and fellow native) Tony Venhuizen.

Q: What made you want to be an editor?

A: Don’t ask me this now. Deadline is but hours away and that (of course) is when everything decides to go wrong.

To tell you the truth, though, I love the pressure. I don’t know that I would have it any other way.

Any job where everything can go cataclysmically wrong at a second’s notice is the job for me, I guess. I also really like working with writing.

While I enjoy writing stories of my own, I like to improve other people’s writing as well.

Q: What is the best part of your job?

A: I still love seeing the finished product. I know it’s kind of nerdy to say so, but I like to flip through the paper and see all the great work my staff did and all the mediocre work I did. I also really like writing stories that people find interesting to read.

Q: What is the worst part of your job?

A: When everything goes wrong, that’s the worst part of my job. Actually, though, those are the moments when you build real camaraderie with your staff.

I’ve made a lot of the best friends I’ll ever have on crazy Monday nights when nothing’s done and the network crashes.

Q: Where do you see the Collegian in the next five years?

A: Honestly, I think the Collegian needs to move towards being a daily newspaper.

As SDSU gets bigger and bigger with the influx of students we’ll get after the move to DI, more news will happen and students will deserve a newspaper that covers that news in a timely manner.

In five years, I think we will be printing two times a week, probably Tuesday and Thursday. I think we’re making a step in that direction by printing Juice, which could easily spin off and be its own publication if it wasn’t so dependent on us for strength. (laugh)

Q: Why should students read the Collegian?

A: We are the best place to get campus news. “The Brookings Register” and “The Argus Leader” cover the big campus stories in a more timely fashion than we do because they’re dailies, but we like to think we cover the stories more in-depth than they can because we can take the time to really explore the issues.

For example, we placed in the prestigious Hearst competition last year with our DI reporting, which was second to none. “The Argus” might have told you we were going DI first, but we told you what that would mean for students.