For all of you non-journalism nerds, I apologize for the next 300 words, in which I will proceed to totally geek out. Most of you probably don’t know this, but last weekend the Daily Pennsylvanian celebrated its 125th anniversary (for reference, 34th Street is a relatively youthful 41 years old). 125 years! That is obscene. And awesome.
The group that the DP Alumni Association managed to get together for the event was about 200 people deep, and studded with Pulitzer Prize winners and the like. Buzz Bissinger of Friday Night Lights fame was there, and so were writers and editors from every publication you could possibly think of. (The DP's most infamous alum, Stephen Glass, apparently didn't RSVP.) Yeah, it’s pretty easy for an as-yet-unemployed senior to feel a little inadequate when in such company. However, it also made me feel very, very proud.
Penn is a big place, with nearly 10,000 undergrads, all trying to find their thing. It took me a while to realize that I had found mine here at Street. Something kept pulling me back in semester after semester, and this weekend I saw that there are hundreds of people (really impressive, accomplished people, who also happen to love dropping the f-bomb) who shared that same sentiment.
“Does 34th Street still exist?” asked one of Street’s founding editors. “Do you guys have a website?” asked another. Yes and yes (and a blog with 5,000 pageviews a day!). “Is there still greasy pizza?” Most days. “Do people read it?” I hope so. But my favorite question of the weekend was from yet another founding editor: “Is Street still bitchy?” Oh yes, decades later, pretty much nothing has changed.
Film is honoring the DP’s 125th in a feature about journalism films (see pg. 8), and our cover story about Philly's Zombie Prom carries on the Street tradition of irreverence (pg. 10). Most importantly though, the 24 names on the masthead are making sure that there will be a 150th.
Black & white (and red & blue), Julia