Cartoon of the Week: Carole McNall

[Illustration by Santana Questa]

Carole McNall, an assistant professor of journalism and mass communication, is The Intrepid’s cartoonist’s choice for this week. 

Mark Belcher (@markbelcherjr), news editor, interviewed McNall, ‘75 alumna, about her teaching philosophy. In the fall 2011 semester, she teaches three sections of JMC 101: Intro to Media and two sections of JMC 300: Media Law.

Belcher: The group of students you teach for the most part is freshmen, correct?

McNall: For some reason I just have not, for the most part, been teaching things that pick up sophomores. I teach Media Law because that’s one of the things I was hired for. I discovered I liked teaching freshman, and I have since asked the dean to keep me teaching (JMC) 101.

Belcher: What can freshman coming into St. Bonaventure expect from your classes?

McNall: JMC 102 (- Language Skills for writers) probably will look different by this fall because we’ve been talking about some revisions in the writing classes, so it’s hard to tell what it will look like. JMC 101 has been a constantly changing thing since I started teaching it, because it’s a constantly changing field … The lawsuit against the founder of Facebook happened (spring 2011) semester, and got pulled into the intro class, because it had some pertinence to a communications medium.

Beclher: Would you say you’re one of those teachers who always has an open door?

McNall: Yeah. My first year teaching full time, Br. Basil (Valente, O.F.M.) told me not to expect to write tests, grade exams or papers in your office. If you manage to do that; that’s gravy, but figure you won’t. Boy was he right! There have been afternoons where one person will walk out the door, and another person will walk in. Partly, that’s one of the pleasures of this job. I don’t have to just walk into a classroom full of 200 people, who are just names on a roster — and that’s pretty much it. I can get to know somebody who walks into my office.

Belcher: Have you found students enjoy your 101 and 102 classes?

McNall: Hopefully, yeah. It’s hard to tell. Some people do poker face far better than I will ever do. I try real hard to make it interesting. And happily, most semesters even some of the people that come into 101 undeclared — and there’s usually at least few — some of them turn around and become JMC majors, so apparently it was interesting at least enough to them that they said, “Yeah, I think I want to go this way.”

Belcher: Let’s talk a little about your personal history.

McNall: I went to law school (at University of Buffalo) not even knowing what I wanted to do with it when I got out. I practiced for a little bit when I did get out, then I got the chance to teach as an adjunct — first at the community college downtown, then both there and here. Within about a year or so of starting, I was looking at my husband and saying if someone were to offer me a full time job I’m grabbing it. I was here teaching a business law class, and Dean Coppola asked me to come to his office and started the conversation with, “So, would you like to teach full time for us?” And I’m like “Yes. Yes I would!” 

Belcher: What would the number one piece of advice be for the incoming freshman?

McNall: Don’t be afraid to ask questions, in class, out of class. If you’re confused, almost certainly so is someone else. In class, most professors will happily back up and try again, or look at the person and say, “Stick around a few minutes after class.” We all realize people are coming in here from all kinds of backgrounds.

Students’ stories about The Intrepid (Part II)

This is part II of the students’ stories about The Intrepid.

Carole McNall, a journalism and mass communications professor, allowed The Intrepid’s editor in chief, Tony Lee, to speak to her JMC: 102 class. 

Two students have gave permission for The Intrepid to run their stories. Hopefully this will give a better understanding of what The Intrepid is and what it will stand for.

Stories have been edited for style and format. 

Part I by Simone Bernstein can be found here.

By Samantha Berkhead, @sjb124

Tony Lee is on a self-imposed mission to change the field of journalism.

His brainchild, the soon-to-be-launched Intrepid, will be a student-run newspaper with a prominent online presence. Lee, aware of the importance of social media in today’s rapidly-changing world, considers it essential that The Intrepid integrate aspects of social media and hyper-interactivity.

“This is not a second BV,” said Lee at a recent presentation given to journalism and mass communications students at St. Bonaventure University. “The Intrepid is the news that Bona students have been waiting for for a long time.”

The importance of social networking as an aspect of journalism has been proved by statistics. According to, approximately 81 percent of 18-25 year-olds use Facebook daily. 25 percent use YouTube, 20 percent use Twitter and 45 percent use some kind of blog daily.

With individuals connecting at a rate never seen before in history, Lee said he believes that journalists ought to pick up on the movement at hand.

“Social media is a conversation in a way that hasn’t been done before,” he said. “It is about making a conversation between the writer and the readers.”

With The Intrepid, Lee said he hopes to “develop a brand of forward-thinking journalists.” These journalists will have the skills to take their own pictures and record their own video as well as communicate—virtually becoming walking newsrooms.

The Intrepid’s embracing of social media will, he said, ultimately make its writers more precise and less prone to errors.

“Social media will be the ultimate truth serum,” he said. “Journalists can’t get away with making mistakes anymore.”

The Intrepid, in its earliest stages, developed over the past three years within Lee’s mind. It all began when he, a California native, discovered St. Bonaventure through a Twitter search for journalism schools.

He was also influenced by the layout of the blogging site Tumblr.

“The reblogging feature of Tumblr is going to change journalism,” he said. Tumblr also has a mobile version which adapts to smart phones—a feature that Lee hopes to establish for readers of The Intrepid and a feature that The BV doesn’t have.

Lee was finally pushed to make his dream a reality at the end of the fall 2010 semester. Disillusioned with the rigid, “pyramid-style” structure of The BV, he decided to move on.

“I couldn’t move up at The BV,” he said. “When a door closed, I opened one myself.”

His qualifications are legitimate enough.

Lee has held a position as The Bona Venture’s online editor, wrote for Sports Illustrated’s and had a concert review published on Fuse.Tv, the website of music television station Fuse.

This month marks the launch of The Intrepid’s website. Lee plans to start out on a small scale, running it mostly by himself.

By fall 2011 semester, Lee said he plans to hold a meeting for those interested in becoming a part of it.

Lee’s ambitions are high for someone founding a paper that has yet to be published. Along with a constantly updated website and a daily newspaper, he hopes that The Intrepid will put out yearly documentaries and a bi-yearly, all-color magazine.

He plans to work with industry-standard equipment and allow The Intrepid’s writers to use the same equipment.

Writers and editors will have access to Adobe Creative Suite 5, MacBook Pros, Canon DSLR cameras and high-definition 1080p camcorders.

All of it will be funded by him alone and donations without Student Government Association ties.

“It’s going to be a challenge, but it’s a challenge I’m willing to take,” he said.

Whether or not the bold ambition behind the Intrepid will make the publication a success is still vague. Yet it’s Lee’s ambition and the untarnished belief which make this story so noteworthy so early on.

Students’ stories about The Intrepid (Part I)

The next two Saturdays will feature stories from students who attended a mock press conference about The Intrepid.

Carole McNall, a journalism and mass communications professor, allowed The Intrepid’s editor in chief, Tony Lee, to speak to her JMC: 102 class. 

Two students have gave permission for The Intrepid to run their stories. Hopefully this will give a better understanding of what The Intrepid is and what it will stand for.

Stories have been edited for style and format. 

By Simone Bernstein, @stlvolunteen

Junior Tony Lee is attempting to reinvent the newspaper and how the news is reported and delivered at St. Bonaventure University by sending text messages 140 characters in length via the Twitter hashtag @Intrepid_SBU.

Without a formal office or funding from the university, Lee is creating a news organization named The Intrepid, which will include a monthly tabloid-style paper and a website including podcasts, slideshows and videos.

The Intrepid will provide hyper-localized, interactive content,” Lee said. “Papers are not just for reading anymore, but making a conversation between the writer and reader.”

Through social media sites, Lee wants to invite the community into the newsroom and allow readers and writers to interact on a personal basis.

Lee has experience as a writer and editor for numerous publications during college. He has spent three years formulating ideas for his dream paper and adventurous staff.

“I don’t want to create something just to pass a class; it’s my dream,” Lee said. “My dream will take 10 years to perfect. I hope The Intrepid will be a model that even The New York Times can adapt to one day.”

Due to the high costs of printing an all-color publication, Lee is seeking donations and sponsors from St. Bonaventure alumni and area businesses.

“I will be extremely active in finding sponsorships for the paper,” he said. “To fund the paper, I am also creating a documentary … All proceeds from selling the film will go to The Intrepid.”

Lee encourages fearless students with new ideas and an interest in integrating an online and paper format to join this publication. With an online version that will launch in mid-February and a print version that will debut in the 2011 fall semester, Lee hopes to acquire a variety of staff members with creative ideas.

The Intrepid will be an outlet for students to try different things,” he said. “This is not a second Bona Venture. This paper will provide another opportunity for students to get published.”

Lee stresses that The Intrepid editors will need to understand that they will have more responsibility, not more power.

“An editor’s goal will be teach and mentor writers, increasing the personal interaction in the newsroom,” he said. “Editors will analyze a story from top to bottom. The first priority of an editor is to make the writer confident about his/her work.”

Lee hopes to create a paper with forward-thinking journalists who are excited about exploring the future of print through a unique medium.

“I couldn’t move up at The Bona Venture,” he said. “When a door closed, I opened one myself. I’m passionate about my writing and didn’t want to say goodbye to print journalism just yet.”

[Photo courtesy of]