Now in its 12th year, YO began publishing a year-round digital edition in 2017 to complement its spring-only print publication. The digital edition began as a grade-bearing ‘experiment’ in the Fall 2017 journalism course, “Introduction to Magazine Writing,” and it quickly blossomed into an exciting and professionally produced online magazine. The dedication and talents of the first official online YO team paid off, and the Fall 2017 fully online edition took home second place in the Outstanding General Interest Magazine category of the Society of Collegiate Journalists national contest in early 2018. Two of the writers for this edition, Jordan Unger and Marah Morrison, also took home SCJ awards for their features. Unger, who allowed his arm to be twisted into serving as editor for the first online edition, gained a co-editor in Morrison for the Spring 2018 online and print editions of YO, and Morrison will assume the lead editor role when Unger graduates from YSU this spring. You can read more about Unger and Morrison in their editor biographies.
Because of its online addition, YO has also been able to publish a wider range of student work and include multimedia elements with its stories, like Nami Nagaoka’s video feature of Tokyo House owner Can Dao cooking up a hibachi storm for those lucky enough to get a table at this 30-year-old Youngstown eatery, or Tyler Rothbauer’s interview with Student Government Association Vice President Ernie Barkett, discussing YSU’s Food Pantry and a potential on-campus grocery store which will bring fresh food access to campus.
As mentioned previously, YO is now in its 12th year. On its 10th anniversary, both the online and print editions for Spring 2018 paid homage to how far YO has come. Unger and Morrison interviewed YSU alum and original YO founder Cristina Cala to find out where it all began. Journalism workshop student Ian Frantz created the story Features in Flashback, catching up with people featured in previous editions of YO. Jambar editor-in-chief Laura McDonough and Jambar designer Carly Redmond designed the print layout for YO, the cover image for which is the feature image on this page. Nagaoka interviewed YSU graduates from around the country to create a retrospective feature on what the magazine means to its “YO alumni.” Additionally, she also worked with Cassie Nespor and her staff at YSU Archives, Jambar adviser Dave Davis and Anderson Program in Journalism coordinator Dr. Mary Beth Earnheardt to make digital copies of previous editions available online.
From the ‘online experiment’ to the established online YO presence that you are now viewing and the collaborations across YSU that made it happen, none of it would have been possible without the support and dedication of many fine faculty, staff and students at YSU. Many thanks to all of you. Also, to the students behind the spring edition and who toiled for months in Magazine Writing and Reporting to get it ready to launch – it has been my honor and privilege to advise you in this truly exceptional endeavor. Congratulations to all of you.
YO Magazine – Featuring the university, the city and the people of Youngstown.
Shelley Blundell, Assistant Professor in Journalism and Communication
YO Magazine adviser, Fall 2017 – present.