With walls peppered with accolades and stacked with news archives dating back to the 1970s, The Daily Free Press’ office is where much of the journalistic action goes down. Aptly located below the Insomnia Cookies outlet along Commonwealth Avenue, The Daily Free Press has a troupe of reporters and editors whose tight deadlines and commitment to quality reporting can result in hours that persist till dawn.
The Daily Free Press is an impressive force of hundreds of writers, who are supported by 13 editors. This well-oiled team is helmed by Editor-in-Chief Jean-Paul Azzopardi who manages the daily running of the newspaper, approval as well as editing of all published content.
The Daily Free Press reports on a wide range of topics that cover campus as well as city news. Just pick up their hardcopy paper – one can feel and smell the nostalgia of a printed newspaper against the many current and relevant issues and events it features. The articles cover stories about art, community, columns, business, science, editorial pieces, lifestyle, sports, and true to any legitimate newspaper – a crossword puzzle. If you are a little tight on time, The Daily Free Press also post podcasts frequently on their website; some of their series include East to West – which includes BU COVID-19 updates and happenings on campus, Unmasked – a storytelling podcast that provides a platform for the voices of the BU community and of course Terrier Hockey Talk.
Being an independent school newspaper, The Daily Free Press prides itself on honest and relatable reporting. Everything is chosen, covered, and run by students from BU, for the BU community. It is important that they always have their ears to the ground, and one of the ways this is done is through their tip line. On their website, the header “Tips” leads you to an anonymous Google response sheet, a PO Box number, and even a burner phone contact number. This is to encourage anyone to drop suggestions or extra leads for the reporters to follow up on.
An integral part of the Daily Free Press’ mission is “to do what media houses are meant to do, which is to be a watchdog for people. Taking care of the student body by doing investigative reporting,” says Azzopardi. Investigative reporting is different from event updates and editorial pieces—it usually involves a project that demands longer-term commitment and might require higher levels of discretion. An example of a story that was developed from this process of investigative reporting includes the article covering the allegations of “torturous treatment” by orientation director Shiney James towards former orientation student leaders.
On the other hand, we can also find inspirational human stories such as that of Melissa Graves, the head coach of Boston University’s women’s basketball team, who, despite being heavily pregnant, continued to physically coach and support her team through their season. The extent of her persevering commitment was exemplified in her decision to drive separately when the team needed to travel to a road game by bus just in case she needed to drive to the hospital.
Since the 1970s, the Daily Free Press has aimed to provide BU students with realistic first-hand experience of the demands of the world of journalism. This is done while upholding its values of reporting with integrity and independence. If you are interested to get involved or to be part of the Daily Free Press, just send in your applications. They would be more than delighted for you to join them.
Cherene Goh, Staff Writer
Cherene is a second-semester media science graduate student here at COM. She is from the sunny island city of Singapore where she earned her bachelor’s degree in social science with honours in sociology, from the National University of Singapore. She has five years of writing experience developing communication campaigns, policy and digital marketing initiatives.
Here at BU, she is a volunteer writer for the BU COMmunicator and apart from thoroughly enjoying the four seasons in Boston, she is currently occupied with picking up ice skating skills and new graphic design capabilities. She also enjoys teaching and playing the traditional Chinese tile game of Mahjong and planning the next adventure she will take with her loved ones.
Nishtha Jadav, Senior Editor
Nishtha is a first-year advertising graduate student at Boston University’s College of Communication. She has a bachelor’s in Business and has previously worked in public relations, social media, and content writing. Passionate about storytelling, Nishtha loves metaphors and poetry. When she is not working, she is probably maxing out her pinning time for the day on Pinterest or journaling in her diary.
Qinjing Liao, Staff Photographer and Videographer
Qinjing Liao is from Chengdu, China, and a second-semester graduate student studying Marketing Communication Research at the College of Communication. She has a BS in Gemstones and Material Technology from the China University of Geosciences. She is currently a videographer for The COMmunicator, and she is also a diamond grader. Qinjing enjoys traveling, cooking, and collecting minerals in her free time.