With a background in journalism education that goes back over fifty years, Tom Eveslage (he/him) knows all too well the difference a student publication can make in the life of a budding journalist. When he began his career as a media law professor at Temple University forty years ago in 1981, Eveslage was aware that a staff position at The Temple News was the perfect opportunity for students to gain experience in the field. However, not many could afford to commit so much time to efforts that, while seen as an enriching experience and a labor of love, were often unpaid. This has inspired Eveslage to give a generous gift toward endowing the paper's editor-in-chief position, which will open more paid opportunities for reporters and editors of all levels.
When Eveslage began his career at Klein College of Media and Communication, Temple University was mostly a commuter school, and there were only a handful of students who lived on campus. This meant that while most students were at home studying or at work, The Temple News staff was hard at work putting the newspaper together on a mostly quiet campus.
"I was really close to The Temple News, and watched some of our best students go there and work there," said Eveslage. "It was a good stepping stone for them, always wishing there were more who could take advantage of that."
During his years teaching at Temple, Eveslage joined the boards of several journalism educator organizations in order to advocate for these students and learn more about the institutional culture surrounding them. These included Temple's University Publications Board, the Pennsylvania School Press Association, and the Student Press Law Center in Washington. Through his work with all of these groups and his experiences teaching student journalists, Eveslage quickly realized that The Temple News and student media in general are central to students' development into professional journalists.
"I still think it's a good way to find out whether you really like it enough to do it," he said.
One aspect of Klein's student media of which Eveslage is especially proud is our Managing Director of Student Media, John DiCarlo, KLN '98, '06 (he/him). DiCarlo first met Eveslage when he was in his Law and Ethics class at Klein. DiCarlo said that throughout his career, he looked to Eveslage for advice on how best to navigate student publication dynamics, just as he looked to him for feedback and support as a student.
"My life would not be the same if it weren't for him, because he's the reason I'm working at Temple now," DiCarlo said.
DiCarlo said that the endowment will "mean the world" to him and his students. He, like Eveslage, is also very aware that not all students come to college with the same levels of privilege, and not all can afford to supplement the stipends paid to them as staff of The Temple News. With so much talent abounding at Klein, DiCarlo is all about maximizing opportunities for students who have the passion and work ethic to dedicate themselves to the newspaper, regardless of their background or financial situation.
"I love the Temple students, and the diversity, and the fact that it is such a great place to learn. And you've got so many ways you can learn at Temple," Eveslage said. "And I just want as many students as possible to take advantage of it, and The Temple News is such a great way to do that."
The Temple News is continuing to fundraise in celebration of its 100th anniversary. Make a gift to help endow the Temple News' editor positions and stay tuned for more information on The Temple News 100th Anniversary events here.