Guest Spot: Times Change, Times Stay The Same

Kevin C. Horton was the Campus Slate’s Editor-in-Chief from 1988 to 1991. He graduated NYIT with a B.S. in Communication Arts in May 1991. He is now publisher of the Gold Coast Gazette, a weekly newspaper serving Long Island's North Shore

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Following my position as Editor-in-Chief of the Campus Slate in the late 1980’s, I graduated from New York Institute of Technology in 1991. Much like the Class of 1991, this year’s class is graduating into a similar world. Twenty years later the world is much the same. In 1991, we were in a war, Persian Gulf War I, and we were in a recession.

Upon graduation, I asked my mother, Patricia Campbell Horton, who had published a monthly paper in the early 1970’s, to start a newspaper with me. [After all, I had produced a weekly newspaper for NYIT for three years, I innocently thought it would be easy].

As we attempted to get financial backers, time and time again, we were told we were crazy, “In this economy at this time,” to start a newspaper.

Being told “No” only got my mother’s “Irish” up and though she was skeptical in the beginning of my request, being told “No” made her all the more determined to make it happen.

We went to potential advertisers and told them our plans and asked for payment up front to cover the first week… Twenty years later, we’ve printed every week since and have grown to be the largest weekly on the North Shore of Long Island with a loyal subscription base.

Fond Times

I still reflect fondly on my time at NYIT and the Campus Slate. I had some extremely influential professors at NYIT.

I recently volunteered at my children’s elementary school to teach an elective on Journalism and help students produce a school newspaper.

I found myself reminiscing to my days at the Campus Slate and tried to channel some of my favorite teachers… One was a “professor” named Bernie Bard. He must have been over 80, if he was a day, but he was electric. His entire course was about lead writing. He would give us notes from a story and ask us to write a lead on the board. Bernie Bard was a retired reporter from “The New York Post” so the better the lead that “Grabbed” the reader the more excited he got.

I remember Bernie standing at the front of the classroom reading aloud each one of the students leads, if he read one he really liked he’d throw the eraser across the room and shout, “[expletive] beautiful lead!” If he really liked a lead he’d open his wallet and slam a dollar on your desk… One time he plopped his entire wallet on a student’s desk!

Well, I channeled Bernie in a way, the day I did the lead writing course, I gave the kids cookies!

Your current NYIT President, Dr. Edward Guiliano, was our advisor on the Slate during my tenure. Although we didn’t always agree on topics, I always held him in high regard. Our respect was mutual, I believe, he never told us what we “couldn’t do,” he believed whole-heartedly in the freedom of the press. Even when we were called into then President Dr. Matthew Schure’s office, for a risque piece we had printed in our “April Fool’s” edition, Dr. G. let the chips fall-where-they-may without further reprimand.

Changing Times

My hats off to the current editor of the Campus Slate, Amanda Beekharry, and advisor John Hanc, [John was also one of my professors] as they embark on the new format of the Slate.

The publication has come a long way from the days we spent hours upon hours in the Balding House basement pulling our hair out [maybe sometimes having too much fun] getting out the newspaper. I spent many a sleepless Sunday night getting the paper ready for press [I’m still not sure if I ever passed that 8am Monday photography class]…. but I digress.

NYIT has always been on the cutting edge. In the late 1980’s when we were producing the Campus Slate, e-mail was starting to be developed. I remember professors talking about it and I have to admit I thought, “That doesn’t sound very likely, electronic mail? Why would you need that?” Now I wear e-mail on my belt through a Blackberry and am a complete and unrecoverable addict.

Being a Journalist

When speaking to people about the business of being a journalist I always tell them the thing I like most about it is, it’s always different. Every day brings a different story and a different adventure. You meet different people and touch their lives, sometimes in their most difficult times. I remember within the first few issues of the paper, there was a horrific car crash which resulted in the death of a young girl only a few years younger than me.

To get the human interest story, the story behind the headline and police report, I knew I had to call the family and find out who she really was.

I had lifted and dropped the telephone receiver countless times before I finally held on long enough for the connection to be made. Sweat was forming on my brow in the cold office, my hand was literally shaking and butterflies were swarming my stomach.

As her mother answered the phone, I could hear my voice shaking to a point I wasn’t sure it was understandable, but it was from that conversation with her mother that I learned a valuable lesson. Everyone has a story that needs to be heard and understood. The printed story not only told of the accident and the victim’s death, but honored her life and who she was. To this day, I occasionally see her mother on the street and we share a smile. She was extremely grateful for the story.

Everywhere you go you touch people’s lives. The trick is to make a positive impression that they will always remember.

We’ve found that the issues with the large fire and color flames fly off the newsstands but that’s not the story people remember years later. The ones they remember many years later are when we feature their accomplishments, awards, graduations, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

Again, from a graduate and editor of the Slate all the way back from 1991, to the graduating Class of 2011, I congratulate you! To the staff of the Campus Slate, congratulations on keeping the newspaper on the cutting edge of technology.

My final message: Times change, times remain the same, but anything can be achieved as long as you set your mind to it!

 

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Guest Spot: Times Change, Times Stay The Same

    Features

    Study Shows College Students Lack Financial Literacy, Postponing Financial Independence After Graduation

  • Guest Spot: Times Change, Times Stay The Same

    News

    Henry C. “Hank” Foley takes over as Fourth President of NYIT

  • Guest Spot: Times Change, Times Stay The Same

    News

    2017 NYIT Honorary Degree Recipients

  • Guest Spot: Times Change, Times Stay The Same

    Showcase

    Clyde Doughty and Jack Kaley inducted in ECC Hall of Fame

  • Guest Spot: Times Change, Times Stay The Same

    Features

    Professor Kevin Horton releases his first children’s book: Cee Jay and Bugsy

  • Guest Spot: Times Change, Times Stay The Same

    Features

    13 Reasons Why: The Show That Strikes the Core

  • Guest Spot: Times Change, Times Stay The Same

    Showcase

    The March Madness Comes to a Conclusion

  • Guest Spot: Times Change, Times Stay The Same

    News

    April: Autism Awareness Month

  • Guest Spot: Times Change, Times Stay The Same

    Features

    Back to the Rulebooks

  • Guest Spot: Times Change, Times Stay The Same

    News

    From Right Field to West Wing: Tom Joannou’s Journey to Washington D. C.

Guest Spot: Times Change, Times Stay The Same