Ain’t they just the greatest?
The Entire Staff of the New York Times
It was announced on March 31, 2022 that the student-run newspaper out of Philadelphia’s La Salle University, the La Salle Collegian, would be receiving the 2022 Pulitzer Journalism Prizes in Public Service, Breaking News Reporting, Investigative Reporting, Explanatory Reporting, Local Reporting, National Reporting, International Reporting, Feature Writing, Commentary, Criticism, Editorial Writing and Editorial Cartooning for their print publication, as well as the Audio Reporting award for the Collegian Podcast. A full sweep of this magnitude has never been seen before.
President Daniel J. Allen, the president of La Salle, is taking full credit, saying that he has been a major influence on the direction of the paper for years now. When asked about how he influenced their writing, Allen refused to comment. Editor-in-Chief of the Collegian, Jakob “1,300 mg of caffeine per serving” Eiseman had this to say about their stunning victory, “I mean… yeah, I guess we’re alright. We finish uploading nearly every article after our deadlines and we barely ever have enough content to fill the paper, plus I barely care about following a proper editing process. You know what actually, I think we make every paper in existence look like a rag in comparison.”
Eiseman cites the COVID-19 pandemic as a major source of the Collegian’s success. “You know, ever since the pandemic hit, no one has been interested in writing for the paper. Our staff has shrunk to just a handful of wannabe writers making memes in the basement of the student Union, and none of our writers know how to actually conduct an interview or investigation. It’s really made us think about how to work under constraints. And you know what they say, ‘creativity is born from adversity,’ or something like that, I don’t know.”
The support system
The La Salle School of Arts and Sciences highlighted several of the Collegian’s seminal works they believe pushed them over the edge, sharing that articles like “Why you need a thneed” or “On barbershops” impacted not just the world of student journalism, but investigative reporting as a whole, diving deep into the personal turmoil that local conspiracy theorists like their managing editor David “Woe is me” O’Brien go through on a daily basis. His piece “Seed oils: A hidden danger in the American diet” is being used as an example of masterclass reporting in the communication department as we speak.
“I just speak my mind, man,” said O’Brien, “I don’t really have a process, I just kinda write whatever I want whenever I feel like it and expect everyone to think it’s funny. They’ve asked me to help with politics in the past considering my interests in public policy, but I just hate writing anything that isn’t a sh*tpost, and the Collegian respects that.”
The student pub is a large umbrella, though, and nearly every section bagged their own awards. The sports section in the Collegian rivals that of ESPN and Bleacher Report, despite being almost entirely written and edited by political science sophomore Enrique “There Are Bugs Under My Skin” Carrasco. Many faculty and members of the marketing and communication team at La Salle fell in love with Carrasco’s work when he published his piece “Opinion: Athletic department finally does something right” in which he vehemently bashes former head coach Ashley Howard with unsubstantiated claims and improper grammar to the beat of Chief Keef’s “Laughin’ to the Bank,” an idea that was just so funny that none of the Collegian staff could resist as surely it wouldn’t upset anybody within La Salle’s administration.
Carrasco is known to write dotingly of the men’s basketball team, saying in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, “Yeah, if any of your staff wants to go to the women’s games and write about those, that’d be great because I’m just not doin’ that.”
O’Brien and Carrasco, two unstoppable forces in the writing world, would cross paths and ignite a bitter blood feud in 2021 that was the inspiration for the series of articles that no doubt led to the Collegian’s Pulitzer in Feature Writing win: “Why I ABSOLUTELY despise David O’Brien,” “Why I absolutely loathe Enrique Carrasco” and the riveting finale, “Why David O’Brien and Enrique Carrasco are best friends again.” This harrowing tale of a friendship on the outs that eventually came back stronger had all of us crying in the proverbial club.
Overcoming their setbacks
One criticism of the Collegian’s writing style that really hampered their chances in a few categories was the quality of some of their editors’ work. Business editor for the Collegian, Liz “Did you know I’m an artist?” McLaughlin, has been highly criticized by La Salle’s staff and pundits around the globe as being “too analytical” and “too good at writing for us to understand,” often employing the use of “big girl words,” actual fact-checking, investigative reporting and, god bless her readers’ souls, even interviews in some of her pieces. Articles like her hit piece on the university’s fund allocation or her 100 percent meaningful account of experiencing misogyny on campus were, at least in our opinion, a bit too much for the paper’s audience. We want goofy nonsense and short form articles with NO substance from today’s journalists, and actually caring about your work is just unacceptable. Do better Liz, be more like your peers in the news section.
Another frequent magnet for controversy is none other than Eiseman, the leader of this juggernaut crew. He has been criticized as being “a dirty little gamer” who puts thought and effort into his reviews of properties from pop culture, employing the same journalistic style as his editorials and hard news articles. “I just don’t see why he cares so much about entertainment, it’s not like anyone actually reads that stuff,” said Eiseman’s mother.
“Yeah, I’m not really sure what they expected when they put the guy from arts and entertainment in charge of the whole paper,” said Eiseman, “I just wanna write about movies, not politics and university management, that stuff’s boring.” Despite claiming not to care, there are reports from within the Collegian’s office that he rules the publication with an iron fist, being dubbed a dictator by some for offering simple suggestions.
The standout stars
Journalists from across the country, the likes of Lester Holt, David Muir, Tucker Carlson, Anderson Cooper and others have ranted and raved about the Collegian’s politics section. “Always on time, always factual, never overflowing with surface-level writing and observations, our politics section is the pride and joy of the Libertarian Party,” said Politics Editor Danielle “I run the Instagram” O’Brien.
The politics section is a fan favorite, with some articles like writer Rachel “Why am I being called out by a person I don’t even know” Phillips’ piece “Democrats demand the release of student debt memos” going on to inspire real change despite being only 400 words of mostly quotes from other publications. That piece quickly ended student debt, and not only that, but O’Brien’s piece on Critical Race Theory, that was in no way just facts from a political studies essay reworked into an article to fill space, single handedly ended racism in America. Nearly every single article from politics is under the 500 word minimum, but the editors let it pass, usually because they are uploaded in the wee hours of the morning after they have all gone to sleep. The staff had only this to say about the politics editing style: “No comment. But have you seen the great work she’s done with the Instagram page?”
The head copy editor for the Collegian, Alina “The farmgirl” Snopkowski, is a pure soul untouched by the vitriol that the rest of the staff exudes. Frankly, the writer of this column has nothing funny to say about her because without her work, the paper would have collapsed ages ago. However, our sources from within the Collegian have told us that she may be overworked by her higher-ups in the editing process, only having time to write one article for her own section in an entire semester. If this scandal turns out to be true, the prizes may be reconsidered.
Another powerhouse from the paper’s team is Nolen “LCD Soundsystem enjoyer” Kelly, the arts and entertainment editor who just won’t shut up. He opens his brain and projectile vomits the thoughts all over the page. His fans love the overly-complicated inside jokes, deep film lore references and snide comments Kelly’s reviews take, and he never once has he missed a joke. Kelly is taking his talents elsewhere next year, planning to live as a roadside hermit outside of Wister Court for a few years trying to tell strangers about how much he loves Paul Thomas Anderson and Christopher Nolan movies despite no one understanding a single thing he says. Kelly has a knack for working a reference to his Letterboxd account into every article he writes, and the critics at Pulitzer just loved spotting them in paragraph two of 54 in his hype piece for “The Batman.”
Finally, the trump card of the staff, news editor Kylie “Pro feminism and pro doin’ your mom” McGovern. McGovern is the heart and soul of the Collegian’s Breaking News team, and consistently puts out banger articles that say exactly what the press release they are from says with no added context. She is heralded as the mother of the modern journalistic integrity movement, publishing articles that are so lean and short, that anyone who reads them gets the same exact information from them as from any announcement or email the university makes. Sometimes, her articles will be entirely made up of exact quotes from presidential emails, meaning she writes only about 100 words, leaving very little room for misinterpretation. McGovern’s articles may be short… and that’s the only joke we have to make about them because they’re genuinely good… but at least they’re always on time, something most of the staff can’t fathom.
Let us know what you think
According to Eiseman in an article written for Dictionary.com, “Winning a Pulitzer is widely considered one of the most prestigious honors in these fields, especially for U.S. journalism,” and we couldn’t agree more. Although Joseph Pulitzer is likely rolling in his grave, the journalism landscape has vastly shifted and this is just what the public wants. On behalf of the Collegian, Eiseman accepted the award, giving a simple speech of “It’s been an honor to lead the Collegian for the last year, and I look forward to seeing where they go in the future. I guarantee whoever takes over for me will continue the paper’s trajectory and proceed driving it further into the ground until the once mighty fourth branch of La Salle is nothing but an internet forum full of Seinfeld memes. Thank you.”
Following the speech, we reached out to the university, and this is what they had to say. “The Collegian’s reporting really hasn’t lived up to our standards lately. They haven’t been doing nearly enough digging to find out any of the nasty secrets we’re hiding, like the fact that our Alumni Association lost over $34,000 combined in one year on the Golf Outing, Charter Dinner and other events which is public information on our 2019 Schedule G 990s. I guess the school population will never know any of our bad press because the ‘journalists’ at the Collegian are too busy sh*tposting. Oh well.”
Sorry La Salle, don’t know what to tell you, but this is just how it is. We won the prizes because we are the best just the way we are. You don’t like it? You can take it up with the Editorial Board by emailing them at email@example.com. Maybe next time take the suggestions to them instead of holding them and whining about it behind their back. They are reasonable adults and can take criticism, and the Collegian staff is always willing to compromise. We genuinely respect and understand your comments regarding our writing style and quality of publication over the last few months, and will be making some changes accordingly based on them with full fervor, but you can just contact us directly next time please so we can have a conversation about it like you would with any other publication, yeah? Cool.
Update: The Pulitzer Prize for Best Writer on the Planet, No Seriously No One Will Ever Be Better Than This, Drop Out of Journalism School NOW has been awarded to Kicks and Cake Editor Claire “I am weed” Kunzier for her hard hitting commentary and complete mastery of the English language. The critics at the Pulitzer Prize Board were brought to tears, uncontrollable body urges and even Exploding Head Syndrome (EHS) upon reading her work “I can’t whistle.” The single paragraph is said to be so comically written that no English speaker can read it without instantly laughing themselves into cardiac arrest. The line “YOU KNOW IT’S HARDER THAN YOU THINK FLO RIDA, SOMETIMES YOU CAN’T ‘JUST PUT YOUR LIPS TOGETHER’ SOMETIMES PEOPLE CAN’T DO IT” has said to have killed over 100 people to date, and the rest of the article is being transcribed into runes as we speak to avoid overloading the human mind. Kicks and Cake continuously puts out these unbelievably great articles, leading some to believe that Kunzier has colluded with some form of greater being in order to control the human race through laughter-induced docileness and incredibly hot takes.