NEIU Meets The Media

More stories from William Castro


Will Castro

Tony Arnold answers a question from the audience.

Media is a beast unto itself and can be intimidating if you can’t put a face to it. Meet the Media Night changes all that.


Held once every semester, Meet the Media Night allows students to interact with the four student media organizations in a fun, casual way and hear from a working professional. This semester’s guest was veteran journalist Tony Arnold of WBEZ 91.5.


He has worked in the field for 10 years. In 2012, he decided to focus his attention on the Illinois state government. During his speech at Meet the Media, he led with a quick description of his early days as a sports reporter for his high school newspaper, before he dove into what he does best: Talking about politics.

The majority of Arnold’s talk focused on the lack of a state budget and the effect it has on us, the students. Referencing an article that appeared in the spring’s premier issue of the  Independent,  he mentioned the school’s lack of a roof over the swimming pool.

“It’s politics…and what is going on in Springfield is incredibly important. We’re in this new way of thinking about government right now and figuring out (what to do) when there is no budget,” he said. “When you think about government it reaches every aspect of life.”

Journalism is a field that requires a daunting amount of skill and persistence. Arnold recalled having to decipher a complex issue and report it, all within a couple of hours.  

“(It’s) hard when you are on a very tight deadline and it’s a big complicated case…you’re consistently working the phone and doing a lot of Google searching,” he said. But then he added a tip. “The dumbest questions will get the best answers. If you don’t know, ask them.”

The evening also provided students an opportunity to talk with representatives of the media groups and learn how to get involved. Each group got up and gave a brief history about who they are and what they do. WZRD 88.3, is a freeform radio station that has been around since 1974. Que Ondee Sola is the longest running student led Latino/a publication in the United States, covering relevant issues in the Latino/a community for 44 years. Seeds is a creative literary and visual arts journal composed of student produced poetry, short stories, illustrations and photos. And lastly, the Independent, the school’s newspaper.

After Arnold’s engaging talk, there was a table with pizza where the audience truly got to meet the media. Everyone socialized and got the opportunity to ask one-on-one questions with Arnold.

“I was interested in them before and now it only made things clearer for me,” said sophomore Daniel Branham as he ate some pizza. “They explained a little more about what they do and their niche markets… I am more interested in them now, especially Que Ondee Sola and their legacy.”

It was such a relaxed atmosphere, it put faces to the media group.