Daily Iowan Publisher: ‘Anybody Can Work Here as Long as They’re Not an A**hole’

Longtime Daily Iowan archivist and librarian Caroline Dieterle is leaving the University of Iowa student newspaper at semester’s end.  Due to digitization, her position is being eliminated.

As Dieterle told the DI for a brief retrospective piece, “I’m not [retiring]. I am being made redundant here with what is being made with technology.  I would be happy enough to file the paper indefinitely as long as I was healthy enough to drag myself down to the newsroom.”

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Her appreciable candor extends to her memories of first obtaining the position in 1977.  As she recalled about the bottom-line hiring standards imposed by the paper’s publisher William Casey: “Bill said anybody can work here as long as they’re not an asshole.  You know, over the years I have had some pretty strong opinions and worked on a bunch of campaigns; there has never been any flack from anybody here about how I should shut up . . . because it was a place where people respected free speech and the idealism of the Fourth Estate.”

There is still a long way to go in 2013, but this has my early vote for college media quote of the year.

Dieterle gave a similarly juicy one almost exactly three years ago for an in-house university report.  Her initial thoughts on joining the Daily Iowan: “[T]he DI’s reputation as a very liberal, far-out place– to the point of appearing ‘scandalous’ to some– was very appealing.  When I told people I was working there, I heard worried comments about the loose living of the staff, drugs, drinking, etc.  This did not put me off at all.”

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