Opinion | The Daily Iowan and the unique opportunities it gives to student journalists is worth supporting


Grace Smith

Daily Iowan Opinions and Amplify Editor Hannah Pinski, who will serve as 2022-23 Executive Editor, poses for a portrait in the Daily Iowan newsroom on Monday, March 28, 2022.

Hannah Pinski, Opinions and Amplify Editor

The first time I stepped into the Daily Iowan newsroom was during the second semester of my freshman year. When I started college, I thought my journalism career was going to take the strategic communications route, where I would work in public relations for a nonprofit organization.

I took one introductory public relations class and realized I needed to get myself off that track. After two and a half years of working as a columnist, designer, and multiple editor positions, I have the honor of leading the newsroom as the executive editor for the 2022-2023 academic year.

The DI is where I fell in love with journalism. Entering my college career, I had never considered or thought I would want to work in the media industry. But the opportunities the DI has given me — writing a variety of stories, mentoring a team of writers, and leading efforts in creating a more inclusive environment — opened my eyes that this is the career I meant to pursue.

But I’m not the only one who’s been able to take advantage of these opportunities. Our newsroom offers student journalists experiences that not every college newsroom can offer.

We’ve sent reporters around the country from Washington, D.C. covering the 2020 election to New York City and report on reflections on the  20th anniversary of 9/11. Over the years, our sports team and photographers have traveled to Division I sporting events like bowl games and NCAA championships — something that other college newsrooms dream to do.

As an independent student-run newspaper, we take pride in reporting the truth and facts to the Iowa City community. Our paper has provided valuable information to the public with our stories whether it’s through our interviews with Iowa’s politicians and congressional delegation or comprehensive coverage of Hawkeye sports.

Our work has been recognized on a state and national scale. In 2020 and 2021, we swept multiple categories at the Iowa Newspaper Association awards and were named the best newspaper in the entire state. This year, we were named an online pacemaker winner by the Associated Collegiate Press for 2020-2021, which is considered the Pulitzer Prize for college journalism.

Today is One Day for Iowa, a 24-hour donation drive that asks you to donate to institutions at the UI that matter to you.

Student journalism that the DI produces is worth supporting. Our alumni have ended up at major media outlets such as the Washington Post and New York Times to papers across the state like the Cedar Rapids Gazette and N’West Iowa Review. We take pride as the eyes and ears of the public to tell stories and keep an informed Iowa City community.

Students who join the DI gain the experience that is necessary to enter the professional journalism world — meeting deadlines, pitching story ideas, and even working with our coaches to improve their craft.

Joining and working at the DI has been one of the best experiences of my college career. I’ve not only developed a passion for journalism and the crucial skills to enter the field, but also have developed friendships and relationships with the community that the DI offers.

Contributions from your generous donations help provide the opportunities we’re able to give to our young journalists. Supporting local journalism will not only help student journalists grow in their career, but also allow us to better serve Iowa with journalism that is necessary to be an informed public and impact the community.


Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.