We Can Tell the Magazine is Out…

January 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm 23 comments

Penn_Stater_magazine…by the calls and emails we’re starting to get from readers.

First of all, no, that’s not a black box you see on the left. It’s the cover of our new January-February issue. There actually is text in there—really! The cover doesn’t render very well on screen, and it looks even worse after the blog software gets done compressing it. If you click on the image at left, you can see a much bigger and more accurate representation.

Even so, it’s definitely a dark cover, and a decidedly unusual one for us, with the masthead letters piled up at the bottom and all that. We realize that you’ll either love it or hate it. And already we’re hearing opinions about it, ranging from “I am impressed by this cover decision. Stunning” to “Seeing the cover … further plummeted me into despair! How is a cover like that moving PSU forward?!”

We might ask our art director, Carole Otypka, to talk more about the cover design in a blog post sometime.

In the meantime, readers are also commenting on what’s inside the issue, and those reactions, too, span the continuum from enthusiastic appreciation (“I already feel better about my beloved Alma Mater. What a wonderful collection of words from people who have been affected by the darkest days”) to passionate disapproval (“I found the latest edition … an ill-conceived idea and equally horrifying to read. Every page made me shake more with anger. How dare you attempt to assuage alumni with pandering articles and quotations”).

To us, the number and variety of reactions is a good thing. It means readers care, and it shows that there’s a wide range of opinions out there. Please keep the comments coming. Feel free to use the “Leave a reply” box after this post, or send us an email at pennstater@psu.edu. Thanks.

Tina Hay, editor

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Entry filed under: Controversy, Covers, Sandusky scandal, The Penn Stater magazine. Tags: , , , , .

Guaranteed to Cheer You Up Behind the Scenes and Below the Surface

23 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Judy Friedman  |  January 4, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    The past month I had been giving much thought as to the approach the staff would give to the next Penn Stater. My issue arrived yesterday. Initially I was shocked at the appearance of the cover but after a moment realized it’s perfect. I haven’t read much of the magazine yet but have skimmed most of it. Of course I’m heartbroken about the abused kids but I’m still an avid supporter of Penn State and JoePa. I’m saddened about the events but am still Penn State proud.
    Judy Friedman Friedman ’62 Edu

  • 2. Angela Bell  |  January 4, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Tina, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t run to open the magazine the second I retrieved it from the mailbox. I don’t feel that way now. I love my alma mater, but I hate the way the administration and the Board of Trustees behaved in the wake of the Sandusky indictment, and the arrogant apologist demeanor they have adopted. They have layered pain upon pain by attempting to dishonor Joe Paterno, who has given a lifetime to Penn State and did nothing wrong, and ineptly mishandling a crisis they should have been well prepared to deal with. Sad times for the Lion, for sure.

  • 3. Anonymous  |  January 5, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Tina, I have very mixed feelings about this issue. The cover says it all – dark days at Penn State – but the articles just plunged me back into the despair I have felt in waves since the week everything broke. The Board of Trustees have handled this situation about as badly as they could have, and while that shakes my faith in them, I know overall that as Penn Staters, we will demand change in both the way the the administration handles allegations of abuse AND a change in who is sitting on the Board of Trustees. I agree with Angela that treating Joe Paterno the way they have is unforgiveable. Time for some new blood (and maybe some business sense??) on the board.

  • 4. Judy Engle '86  |  January 5, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Repost: I am still Penn State Proud and did not mean to appear otherwise by not including my name.

    Tina, I have very mixed feelings about this issue. The cover says it all – dark days at Penn State – but the articles just plunged me back into the despair I have felt in waves since the week everything broke. The Board of Trustees have handled this situation about as badly as they could have, and while that shakes my faith in them, I know overall that as Penn Staters, we will demand change in both the way the the administration handles allegations of abuse AND a change in who is sitting on the Board of Trustees. I agree with Angela that treating Joe Paterno the way they have is unforgiveable. Time for some new blood (and maybe some business sense??) on the board.

  • [...] to our special coverage in the new issue. I hope the start we’ve made—both what you see in our January/February issue and the seven-eighths of our work that’s below the surface—will be a good [...]

  • 6. Penn Stater Magazine Handles Scandal the Right Way  |  January 5, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    [...] of just putting it out there, they prepared readers with a warning shot in this post, and quickly followed up on both positive and negative feedback after the issue was [...]

  • 7. richard  |  January 6, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Outstanding cover –it nails the mood that was the darkest of times. congrats to the staff.

  • 8. Anonymous  |  January 7, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    I have always looked at the Penn Stater. Threw it away as soon as I saw it

  • 9. anonymous  |  January 7, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    The cover might have accomplished the shock value that the editors intended, but it certainly doesn’t reflect the spirit of going forward “For The Glory” of Penn State.
    The University DID NOT commit the crimes that were done — ONE MAN — Jerry Sandusky — is responsible. Everyone seems to have forgotten that.
    And the disgusting way that Joe Paterno was treated is unforgivable to the legions of alumni and fans who understand and appreciate what he has given to Penn State — not only on the football field, but in his molding of students into young men who excel in academics and their sport.
    It’s time to take back the pride that has built PSU into the world-class university it has become…not to hide under a shroud of BLACK !?!
    I, too, tossed the issue without even opening it.

  • 10. Anonymous  |  January 9, 2012 at 10:36 am

    As the wife of a Penn State Alum and the mother of two Penn State Alumni I can express shock over the black cover. What were the editors thinking! Just dumb and no positive purpose.

  • 11. Anonymous  |  January 9, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    I totally agree … no “POSITIVE” purpose … just more negativity, more gloom and doom, more “end of an era.”
    Come on, people, if PSU is going to rebound from this travesty, you have to do your part.
    Stop looking back and start looking ahead …the glass half full, not half empty, you know?
    My husband and son also are both Penn State alums — and both of them were totally disgusted by this issue, as was I.
    A BIG editorial mistake.

  • 12. Karen Howard, Class of 1988  |  January 9, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    I never write in to comment on magazines but felt compelled to do so when I received this month’s Penn Stater. I absolutely hate the cover. Just looking at it made me physically ill. All black, with the title tumbled down into a pile of ruins? It communicates that we are dead, destroyed, broken. It is in total disagreement with the truth that Penn State is so much bigger than this scandal. There is so much more to this university, the alumni, the lives we’ve lived, the progress we’ve made, the positive difference we will continue to make in the world. Why on earth would you choose a cover that suggests the complete opposite?

  • 13. John Bledose  |  January 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    This is probably the first time that as a PSU alum that I will not look at the Penn Stater magazine. Too many emotions. I know you did what you felt you had to do. It had to be said. But at this point I’d rather move forward. Not your fault, just not wanting to relive what has already happened and cannot be changed.

  • 14. Our 15 Minutes of Fame « The Penn Stater Magazine  |  January 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    [...] knew we’d get some feedback on our January-February issue, which is devoted almost entirely to coverage of the Sandusky scandal. We figured we’d get [...]

  • 15. Jim Rossi 83'  |  January 12, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Joe Paterno along with the current students, alumni, players and anyone associated with Penn State were sacrificed by a Board of Trustees that caved in to an angry media mob mentality to appease those who were looking for heads to roll before any conclusive investigation was completed. Erickson, Joyner and the entire BOT also must go. They knew this was coming. Former PSU President Graham Spanier informed them of the grand jury investigation months before the actual indictment was handed down in November. Once the story broke, everyone was thrown under the bus…except themselves. No, in fact they postured themselves to have their own fill the roles of AD and PSU President following the bloodletting. For Joe Paterno’s part, not being under investigation or accused of any wrongdoing, he was treated like garbage being dismissed from a job he has impeccably held for 46 years via phone in the middle of the night. When Joe Paterno arrived at Penn State in 1950 he arrived at a sleepy mid Pennsylvania farmer’s college. He left it a world class institution of higher learning. He deserved better.

  • 16. Mark '80  |  January 12, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    You make me ashamed to be a part of this university. This will be the last Penn Stater to reach my mailbox.

  • [...] the moment we began compiling essays for our January/February issue, my favorite was always Shawn Hubler’s piece, an op-ed from the Los Angeles Times about losing [...]

  • 18. Mark Millirio  |  January 13, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Excellent article, “Bureaucracy, Loyalty, and Truth” by Eric Silver.

  • 19. Tina Hay  |  January 13, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Mark — Thanks! That one is getting more comments than any other in this issue. I think we’ll be posting that essay here on the blog next week. –Tina Hay

  • 20. pennstatemedicine  |  January 16, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Tina – I’d like to suggest that you break from the strategy of print articles primarily or exclusively being in print and not on the blog, at least for this issue. I think there are some great pieces that need to be shared with a larger audience. It’s unfortunate that the cover kept people from opening it and reading the articles to gain more insight into the situation we all find ourselves in. – Fred DeCock ’80

  • [...] the 28 pages of essays we published in our January/February issue, which we devoted to the Sandusky scandal and its aftermath, none has received more responses than [...]

  • [...] on the heels of two special, emotional issues — the Jan./Feb. coverage of the Sandusky scandal and the March/April tribute to Joe Paterno — our staff will [...]

  • [...] we were looking for an expert on surviving sexual abuse to contribute to our Jan/Feb 2012 issue, Jennifer Storm proved an obvious choice. Storm ’02, an abuse survivor herself, now serves as [...]

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