July 02, 2004

Eric Fidler named Daily Egyptian managing editor

by Paula M. Davenport

(Pronouncers: Manjunath is MAHN-jeh-nath and Pendakur is PEN-dah-cur; Jaehnig is YEAH-knee)

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Eric J. Fidler -- currently editor of politics and elections in the Chicago bureau of The Associated Press -- next month will become the new faculty managing editor of Southern Illinois University Carbondale's award-winning, student newspaper.

The DE, a 20,000-circulation campus daily, operates within the University's School of Journalism. Countless collegiate reporters, editors, photographers and graphic artists have cut their teeth at the campus paper on their way to full-time journalism careers.Fidler's first day in the Daily Egyptian, or DE, newsroom will be Aug. 9, Manjunath Pendakur, dean of the University's College of Communications and Media Arts, said today (July 2) in announcing the appointment.

Walter B. Jaehnig, director of the journalism school, says he and members of the search committee were favorably struck by Fidler's wealth of news experiences and his helpful personality.

"Eric brings experiences gained during his successful career in the news industry and he expresses a great enthusiasm for working with students. He has engaging personal skills and comes highly recommended by his peers," Jaehnig said.

In his new role, Fidler will supervise news and editorial operations of the student paper and will also teach courses in the "J" school's news-editorial sequence, its specialization for reporters and editors.

With more than 20 years of daily journalism experience, Fidler seems fit for the challenge.

He's covered Chicago as a reporter and editor for The AP since 1991 and served as assistant editor, copy desk chief and copy editor at the Miami Herald from 1986 to 1990. Before that, he produced and designed local and national news sections for the Atlantic City Press for four years.

Fidler also possesses experience and an authentic gift for mentoring journalism students.

"Nothing at The AP has been more rewarding to me than watching three of 'my' interns grow from nervous cub reporters into confident journalists ready to succeed at the AP or anywhere," Fidler wrote in his cover letter.

"I have experience with young people and truly enjoy working with them. I have a passion for teaching and a passion for journalism," Fidler added.

Fidler holds a bachelor's degree from American University (1980) and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

He succeeds DE managing editor Lance Speere who for the past two years has been doubling as the paper's managing editor and its business manager. Speere will now be able to devote himself full time to the DE's business operations.