During its first hundred years, USC’s Daily Trojan has been guided by some mightily impressive editors-in-chief. Everyone from “The Fastest Human in the World” (1920 Summer Olympics gold medalist Charles Paddock) to various LA Times employees (Roger Smith, Kate Mather).
For the paper’s Centennial Supplement, reporter Alexis Driggs runs through this and other aspects of the paper’s top-down ranks, followed by a compilation of testimonial quotes from various former Trojan newsroom quarterbacks. The remembrances are all worth reading, starting with this one from Sara Libby, EIC in the fall of 2005. She is currently transitioning from associate editor at Talking Points Memo to managing editor at Voice of San Diego:
“The most important thing I learned was that ultimately, the big decisions lay with me and I had to trust myself on them. Obviously there was always pushback from certain student groups who felt they were being covered unfairly, but even I had professors trying to get me fired or expelled for covering them. But I tried to just tell myself and my staff that if we were being fair and working hard, we would land on our feet, and we did.”
A number of the other former EICs quoted are still on campus. Joe Saltzman, an Annenberg professor and director of the Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture, was editor-in-chief during the 1960-61 school year, while 2001 EIC Scott Smith works today as associate director of USC Student Publications. Write on!