Arizona Daily Wildcat
Kevin Clerici returns after two-year hiatus
As the fall semester ends, the Arizona Daily Wildcat prepares for an invasion from the outside.
Though hardly an enemy, the Wildcat's new editor-in-chief Kevin Clerici, a journalism senior, is returning after spending the past two years at the Arizona Daily Star.
"I worked at the Wildcat from spring 1996 through fall 1997, so I am excited to come back and bring an outside perspective," Clerici said.
While at the Star, Clerici worked as a sports reporter, copy editor and, most recently, a feature writer for the Calienté section.
"The Star trusted me, and that made me work harder," Clerici said. "My experience at the Star gave me the confidence to apply for the editor-in-chief position."
His drive to return to the Wildcat stems from a desire to influence the campus community, Clerici said.
"I want to get back involved because the Wildcat has such an amazing power to engage and inform," Clerici said. "For some students, this is the only newspaper they read, and that is pretty influential."
Although Clerici hopes to bring a new perspective to the Wildcat, his vision is to strengthen what already exists and to strive for more design consistency.
Some of his plans include diversifying the issues covered on the front page, maintaining the Wednesday special-report section and challenging the photographers to take more engaging photos, he said.
"I applaud and admire what Brett's (Erickson, current Wildcat editor-in-chief) done this semester," Clerici said. "I don't want to make major changes, just some fine tuning."
As his term comes to an end, Erickson, a journalism senior, said he has been pleased by the progress made by this semester's staff.
"This has been a very young staff - reporters, editors, designers and myself included - so I am impressed by the professional development I see in the staff," Erickson said. "I'm proud that I helped to lead that."
Mark Woodhams, director of Arizona Student Media, said he agrees that the youth of the staff was a challenge this semester.
"We've had many new students come in this semester and take on many different roles," Woodhams said. "While this has been a successful semester, next semester's staff will be more experienced, and things should run a little smoother."
Erickson plans to return to the Wildcat in a smaller capacity next semester, reporting for news, sports and special projects, and said he has a piece of advice for Clerici.
"This is a huge responsibility and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Erickson said. "All you can do is take it seriously and put out the best product possible."
Clerici, however, said he is ready for the challenge.
"I am a journalism junkie," Clerici said. "We, as journalists, make such a difference, and you just can't beat that feeling."
Anastasia Ching can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.