Spring brings editor turnover, new changes to buzz


By Sydney Wood, buzz Editor

Nothing says “spring” like this semester’s editor turnover at The Daily Illini, especially in the buzz section. Hi, my name is Sydney Wood, and I’m the new buzz editor. 

I’ve been with buzz since Oct. 2019. At the time, buzz had its own website and around two pages in the broadsheet DI print newspaper. Now, buzz posts its content on the DI website and usually has a page or two in the weekly print tabloid edition. 

Previously, buzz editors used to write editor’s notes about campus life, national events or just about anything they found interesting. For reasons unknown to me, buzz eventually stopped publishing these notes. 

As part of my agenda as the new buzz editor, I’m bringing them back. 

Before I get too ahead of what I’m trying to say, let me introduce myself first. I’m a junior majoring in journalism with a minor in sociology. My primary writing interests for buzz revolve around music. Whether I’m talking to artists, music venue owners or people at Champaign-Urbana’s local record labels, writing about music is my self-prescribed beat at buzz. 

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So, back to the new spring season. 

Spring typically symbolizes a return to activity, a departure from the dormancy that became the norm during the winter months.  

This Sunday, I walked through the Japan House gardens, and people were everywhere. It was a nice change from the lack of people I’ve seen throughout the colder months and during last year itself. It reminded me of how much things have changed since March 2020, including how buzz has changed. 

Around this time last year, students at the University were quickly approaching burnout after spring break was canceled. Two years ago, students weren’t even allowed to return to campus after spring break. 

It’s hard to say where the buzz section would be today if our way of life — i.e. our dependence on in-person contact with sources, artists and other staff members — wasn’t so dramatically impacted by virtual interviews and staff meetings, along with the semi-universal cancellation of all live music events. 

Buzz has given me numerous opportunities to delve into the local arts and entertainment and community scenes of Champaign-Urbana — opportunities that are unique to our section of the paper. 

In what other section would I be able to get press passes for writers to attend various local concerts, events and even music festivals like Lollapalooza? In what other section would I be able to talk with local bar owners, members of local bands and staff from Polyvinyl (a local record label)? 

There’s a lot to be grateful for as the new editors assume their positions at The Daily Illini. A lot of change is coming to buzz, as well as the other sections. 

So, what’s changing in the buzz section? Well, I have some ideas that I’ll tell you right now. 

I’m hoping to bring about some new changes to improve the quality of buzz’s content and increase its readership. Some of these ideas include introducing some new columns — including an album review column and editor’s notes like this one — teaming up with the video section of the DI to create video content for buzz-related coverage and reintroducing the buzz calendar. 

But change is an ongoing process, so this is only a shortlist of what the other buzz editors and I hope to accomplish this year. I hope you’ll take this journey with us. 


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