NINA board

NIU Student Journalist joins NINA Board

by Pat Szpekowski, APR – NINA President

NINA is proud of its legacy and affiliation with Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. The roots of our organization were formed here and NINA has grown and prospered over the years.

As we celebrate NINA’s 60th in 2022, you might have noticed our tagline for this anniversary year – Forged in Print, Focused on the Future.

Brionna Belcher

Keeping with that premise, we are pleased to introduce fourth-year NIU student Brionna Belcher, managing editor of the university’s Northern Star newspaper, as our newest NINA board member.

This is a first for us in engaging with an active student journalist on our board. It’s a great step forward and we are proud to honor our relationship with journalism students at NIU and the Northern Star.

Brionna carries a passion for her work with the Northern Star.

“I got involved with the Star last year in August when I was contacted by Wesley Sanderson, editor-in-chief, through LinkedIN,” said Brionna. “I was hired as a member of the Engagement Team, but eventually took over as the Opinion Editor in October. In December, I began working as the Managing Editor.”

“My greatest source of pride at the Star has come from a daily student E-newsletter, TLDR, that I assisted in creating,” notes Brionna. “I’m responsible for compiling the daily content for the newsletter and have helped gather almost 1,000 subscribers since its creation in August last year.”

The TLDR (too long, didn’t read) E-newsletter simplifies the stories from the Northern Star website so that a day’s worth of news can be read in under 5 minutes.

Brionna hails from Chillicothe, Illinois and attended Illinois Valley Central High School. When asked if she worked on the high school newspaper, she said “It’s a very small town so unfortunately my high school didn’t have a school newspaper.”

However, she has always enjoyed writing, but never did any type of news writing until she got to NIU. “I struggled to find a major I connected with, but after taking the basic news writing course, I knew journalism was for me,” she said.

Right now, Brionna is unsure what her future career will be. She says she’d like to do something with public relations, rather than news writing or editing.

Maybe a spark from her success at the Northern Star, along with NINA board experience, will guide her onto a career path in journalism.

In her spare time, Brionna says she enjoys spending time outdoors with her Yorkie puppy named Soleil. “She certainly keeps me on my toes.”

Check out the Northern Star website at Sign up for the daily “TLDR” E-newsletter and see what it’s all about. Let’s add to the subscriber list!