Photo Credit: USI Photography Services
Justin “Jimmy” Pyles, editor-in-chief of The Shield, the University of Southern Indiana student newspaper, has great expectations for this academic year.
The son of Jeff and Melissa Pyles of Lawrence, Indiana, Pyles attended Whiteland Community High School. He was inspired to continue his studies at USI, and is now a junior in advertising and public relations. He joined The Shield staff during his freshman year.
Shortly after joining The Shield staff, Pyles decided he wanted to become editor-in-chief. He began developing his skills as a designer and writer while working with Erin Gibson, faculty adviser to The Shield.
“Jimmy always said he’d be editor-in-chief one day,” Gibson said. “We sometimes joke about how the look on my face changed every time he would say that. As time progressed, I saw him harness his enthusiasm and develop into a journalist.”
Pyles was visual editor for two years before he became editor-in-chief. While he was visual editor, Pyles developed his own position beyond page design into a member of The Shield’s editorial board.
“My role has gradually become more serious,” said Pyles. “I started designing the page layouts and making edits. As a member of the editorial board I had more of a say in the types of ads we were running and content. During my last year as visual editor, my position was ranked second only to editor-in-chief.”
This summer, Pyles attended the Management Seminar for College News Editors at the University of Georgia-Athens. He and 64 other student journalists from across the nation learned how to be efficient editors.
Pyles would like to publish at least one issue this year with no errors. To make this happen, Pyles will be raising his expectations and setting shorter deadlines for stories.
“Deadlines will be scheduled daily, with a six-hour period to complete a story,” Pyles said. “We will also post online every day, so that a student can wake up in the morning and see what students care about and what’s going on. Normally, we give our writers a week, with deadlines each Sunday.”
While Pyles holds a high standard for The Shield and its staff, he feels the results will spark reader interest.
“I consider what we do as important as The New York Times, the Las Vegas Tribune, any other publication in the world,” Pyles said. “We’re just learning in the process.”
To get involved with The Shield, download an application here, contact Pyles at 812/465-1682, or visit The Shield's office in the lower level of UC East, room 227.