Chris Placek (JOUR '10) and Mike Jakubowski (BREC '87)
Chris Placek l Journalism 2010
Shortly after graduating from the Diederich College of Communication
in 2010, Chris Placek joined the Daily Herald covering news in a five-county
Chicago suburban area. Years writing for the Marquette Tribune helped prepare
him for a career in journalism.
Chris talks about his life experiences that have led him to become a
1. When did you decide you
wanted to be a reporter?
I knew in third grade that I wanted to be a reporter. That year at
Edgebrook Elementary School in Chicago, we learned all about Chicago history
and had an associated "Chicago Fair" where my assignment was to do a
report about the Chicago Tribune and build a scale model of the Tribune Tower.
In sixth grade, I became the publisher of my very own family newspaper, the
Placek Press. I went onto high school, where I worked on the school paper, and
later at Marquette, spent four years at the Marquette Tribune as a reporter and
2. What do you like best
about working for a regional paper?
There's a lot of attention in the media given to presidential
elections and overseas conflicts - and they are important things to cover - but
I believe the Daily Herald best serves its readers with local coverage they
can't get from national news organizations, local TV stations, or even the two
Chicago daily newspapers. It's important to have reporters at village board
meetings, holding public officials at the local level accountable. It's
important for us to cover stories about Christmas dinners for the needy, too,
showing the good that comes from our communities. It's our job to report about
the good, the bad, and everything in between. The newspaper should be a
reflection of the area we cover. What's great about working for a paper like
the Daily Herald is having the ability to report and write about so many
different things that shape the Chicago suburbs. Every day at work is
different, particularly as a general assignment reporter. Variety, they say, is
the spice of life.
3. Of the stories you have
covered, what stands out?
Following local politics is often the same as watching a gripping
sporting event, or even soap opera. There's always drama and intrigue. I've
reported extensively on local controversies, including an intergovernmental
dispute between the village of Glen Ellyn and College of DuPage, and debates on
the Carol Stream library board that resulted in the firing of the library
director. Among the feature stories I've worked on, I enjoyed writing about two
suburban drive-in movie theaters - relics from the past that have been able to
stay afloat by converting to digital film.
4. How has being an Eagle
Scout impacted your life?
I learned many life lessons from Scouting. To name a few: setting
goals and working hard to accomplish them, learning how to face and overcome
challenges, and working together as a team. Those themes came into play many
times over along the course of campouts, hiking and cycling trips, service
projects and pancake breakfast fundraisers. I also think what Scouting stands
for - being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient,
cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent - are good character-building
5. Why do you think MU
graduates are so quick to help new graduates?
One of my journalism professors always encouraged us to go out,
network, make connections, and get advice from the many Marquette graduates
working in the professional world. Alumni remember what it was like to have
that fresh diploma in hand, saying "goodbye" to college life and
"hello" to the daunting real world. So we want to help where we can.
There's a track record of Marquette graduates doing great things in the world,
and we want to encourage our recent graduates to carry on the tradition.
6. Where do you see the
future of journalism hard news?
There will always be a need and desire for news. The future of the
printed product is unclear; there may be fewer newspapers long term, but that
doesn't mean everything the newspaper does will be extinguished. Certainly
online journalism and the exposure of social media has changed the way things
have been done for a long time. But at the very heart of it, reporters and
editors should stay true to their mission of delivering news to their readers
in an accurate and fair way - no matter the format.
7. What do you want to do
I always wanted to work for a newspaper - and it was my goal
throughout elementary school, high school and college to get there. Now that
I'm there, I really couldn't imagine myself in another field. The news business
is changing, but I want to be part of journalism's future. I believe there's
still value to the work we do.
Mike Jakubowski Broadcast Communication 1987
In addition to being the PA announcer for Marquette basketball games,
Mike Jakubowski works at the Professional Bowlers Association as a multimedia
specialist. He has been a regular host for the annual Marquette Madness events.
Mike talks about his experiences as a Marquette student and his
continued connections with the university.
1. What do you enjoy about
participating in Marquette Madness?
Marquette Madness gives alumni,
students and fans their first look at the men's and women's basketball
teams in an exciting on-campus experience. Each school has its own form of
a madness-style production to open their basketball seasons. For Marquette to
be able to invite people to campus for the occasion is a great tradition
2. How has your Marquette
education influenced your life so far?
To have a foundation of education
within Marquette's mission of Excellence, Faith, Leadership and Service
provides the strength to strive to maintain those ideals in everyday
life. Working to be an example of those core elements to family,
co-workers and friends is a daily goal.
3. What is your main occupation
now and does it require a lot of travel?
In addition to my role as the
Public Address Announcer for the Marquette Golden Eagles basketball program, my
work as the Multimedia Specialist for the Professional Bowlers Association
keeps me busy around the world. From PBA's Xtra Frame digital media
platform to ESPN's lead announcer, professional bowling has taken me from coast
to coast and will take me to Japan twice in the upcoming months. This year I
will be on the road for 25 to 30 events.
4. What are you most proud of in
The opportunity for a former MUTV
Sports Director to be the lead play-by-play announcer on a live national
television sports broadcast gives me great pride. Not many ever reach that
position. Given a second opportunity by ESPN to lead PBA national
television shows is an honor, one in which my late father would have been
equally, if not more, proud.
5. Why do you think MU grads help other
MU students so much after they graduate?
The "Marquette Mafia" is a well-known force for good in the business
world. Marquette graduates take pride in the quality of their own educational
experience and absolutely know that the tradition continues today and that
Marquette will continue to produce men and women who embody Excellence, Faith,
Leadership and Service tomorrow. As I say at the conclusion of every Marquette
home men's and women's basketball games, "This is Mike Jakubowski, proud
graduate of Marquette University."