I learned more at the State Press than in any class I took at ASU, which says something given how highly the journalism school there has been regarded through the years. I’m proud to have worked there during what might be the most talent-laden years at the State Press (no disrespect to other eras). Look at the staff boxes from the late 1980s-early ’90s, and the number of names and the bigger and better things they went on to is overwhelming.
While surely many others will share memories of the parties on the roof of Matthews Center, happy hours at Ozzie Warehouse and the printer closet, my most enduring images were on the job, covering the games, writing the stories and assembling the pages with strips and wax in the pre-pagination days. The editors signed the pages off with a blue pen, and it was a little source of pride to put your stamp on that day’s edition, as was walking on campus the following morning and seeing lots of people make heading to a State Press bin their first activity.
At that point in the early 1990s, a lot of us had an idea of the direction newspapers were going. It’s a dying medium, I remember a sports reporter saying, and he went into public relations not long after graduation and has done very well for himself. But the State Press experience made most of us still want to go into newspapers. For me, it was a desire to be part of an organization that is a watchdog, pursues trails wherever they lead and, most important, tells the stories that need to be told. I think we all thought we were training ourselves to change the world in the Matthews Center basement, or at least better inform it, as corny as that may sound.
Mike Ritter’s passing brought back a tidal wave of remembrances of those days, and the news of the final print issue will likely rekindle them. Loved every second of my time at the State Press.
Sports reporter, Spring-Fall 1990
Assistant Sports Editor, Spring 1991
Sports editor, Fall 1991-Spring 1992
News reporter, Fall 1992
News editor, Spring 1993