NIU's Northern Star to induct two Daily Herald journalists into its Hall of Fame

  • Diane Dungey, who retired last fall as senior deputy managing editor after a 40-year career with the Daily Herald, is being inducted into the Northern Star Alumni Hall of Fame at Northern Illinois University.

    Diane Dungey, who retired last fall as senior deputy managing editor after a 40-year career with the Daily Herald, is being inducted into the Northern Star Alumni Hall of Fame at Northern Illinois University. Daily Herald file photo

  • Kathleen Gosnell Seiler

    Kathleen Gosnell Seiler

 
 
Updated 8/7/2022 1:17 PM

Next month, the Northern Star at Northern Illinois University will induct two former Daily Herald staff members into its Alumni Hall of Fame.

They are Diane Dungey, who retired last fall as senior deputy managing editor after a 40-year career with the Daily Herald; and the late Kathleen Gosnell Seiler, a prominent Los Angeles Times copy editor who began her career with Paddock Publications in 1967.

 

Michael Korcek, president of the Northern Star Alumni Association and a Mount Prospect native, said the leading role Dungey played at the Daily Herald made her a clear candidate for induction.

"The Daily Herald has been on the national forefront of suburban journalism for decades," Korcek said. "The top-ranked woman on the Herald masthead and one of the most influential females in Chicago journalism has been Diane Dungey."

Meanwhile, he said copy editors like Gosnell Seiler are "the unsung heroes" of newspapers.

"They are fact-checkers, style-masters, the institutional memory of the newspaper -- all on deadline," Korcek said. "Kathy Gosnell-Seiler represented the epitome of that role."

In her leadership role at the Daily Herald, Dungey played a key part in setting the standards for the newspaper's journalism and in developing the coverage of many of the era's biggest stories -- the 1995 school bus tragedy in Fox River Grove, the 2008 shootings at NIU, the 1993 Brown's Chicken murders, Sept. 11, various Chicago sports championships, the sale of Arlington Park, among them. But in a piece last fall for The Newspaper Partnership annual section, she described best her sense of connection to the suburbs.

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"Many people occupy the corners of my memories of 40 years as a reporter and editor -- the heroes, the famous, the gangsters, the brave," Dungey wrote. "Mostly I remember ordinary, good people who shared with me part of their stories."

Dungey won several reporting and writing awards over the years, but induction in the Northern Star's Hall will carry special meaning for her.

"I went to Northern Illinois University to learn journalism," Dungey said, "but it was the Northern Star under adviser Jerry Thompson that made me love journalism -- the camaraderie, the sense of mission, the joy of meeting interesting people and telling their stories. Northern Star alumni are part of the bedrock of Chicago-area journalism. I'm proud and fortunate to have started my career there."

Gosnell Seiler, a DeKalb native, worked on the Herald's copy desk during a period of growth and activity as the paper transitioned from a weekly to a triweekly and ultimately a daily.

She moved to California in the early 1970s and wound up on the copy desk at the Times, where she was part of a team that won The Pulitzer Prize and she rewrote the paper's stylebook. She died in 2020 at age 75.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Dungey and Gosnell Seiler will be honored with three other Northern Star alumni at a banquet Sept. 16 in DeKalb. For information on the banquet, email mkrull@niu.edu.

Those three are: WGN reporter Marcus Leshock; Jeremy Norman of ValetMag.com; and Bob Scarpelli, former chairman and chief creative officer at DDB Worldwide.

"We are extremely proud of The Northern Star journalism legacy that dates back to 1899," Korcek said. "Our five 2022 Hall of Famers represent the best and diversified aspects of a prizewinning college daily newspaper. We have a copy editor, senior deputy managing editor, an advertising executive, a webmaster and a broadcaster."

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