Bea Aldrich

In college, you meet many different types of people. You meet go-getters and trendsetters, introverts and extroverts. You meet students who are only at college to push real life off a little bit longer and you meet students dying to get into the real world. Some follow the current and others create it. Bea Aldrich, general manager of Radio DePaul and associate editor at 14 East Magazine, is a current creator. Skilled but humble, Bea’s dedication to journalism is clear through her participation in founding 14 East and time spent managing Radio DePaul.

Approaching graduation, Bea answered a few questions about her involvement with 14 East, Radio DePaul, and how she manages to find time for school.

Last year, you helped found 14 East Magazine, DePaul’s new online magazine and now you are an associate editor. What has your experience been building a magazine from the ground up?

It is has been an incredible experience – for many reasons – but mostly in the way that is has grown. When we started, it was just a few of us meeting up every couple of weeks to discuss things like the font of our logo or what our name would be. Now, there is a wide staff of editors and contributing writers – we can barely fit in our conference room anymore. One recently published story was over 21,000 views. It’s crazy. It’s like watching a child grow up, and I’m so proud of what it has become. When you work that closely with people in building a whole magazine, you develop close relationships. The editors at 14 East have become some of my closest friends, and I’m so grateful. They inspire me everyday and motivate me to continue producing some of my best work yet.

You recently published The Cleveland 4, which takes a deep dive into the court case and allegations of FBI entrapment. What was the process like?

I didn’t have a concrete step-by-step process, and I don’t think there could have been. Most of it was reading – reading court documents and more court documents. There were a lot of docket entries with this case, and it took some time to fully understand the case in its entirety.  There was also a learning curve to this because I had to educate myself on legal terms and court jargon. The most rewarding, and I think important part, was the interviews. Because the four men are in prison, I could not have a face-to-face interview with any of them, and I could only get in touch with two out of the four. Most of the time interviews had to take place over email. Any journalist will tell you that this is not ideal because it’s hard to carry on a conversation, get a sense of the person, etc. It took several months. I also had interviews with people who knew them, who were involved. As soon as I thought I had everything, something else important would come up or I would think of a follow-up question. Even today, after it has been out for a while, I still wish I could have done more. I also had several weeks at a time where I wouldn’t work on the piece simply to clear my head and gain some fresh perspective. This was, I found to be, really important in maintaining on unbiased approach and seeing the big picture of the case.

How long did it take?

The whole process took about a year.

You are also the general manager at Radio DePaul, which was named the nation’s #1 online college radio station. What do you think made Radio DePaul stand out against other online college radio stations?

I think we have a diverse range of shows that go anywhere from Ska to a talk show about conspiracy theories. There is so much unique creativity happening at our station. But, what I think is most important is the passion of the staff. I’ve worked at Radio DePaul for four years now and it is pretty universal that everyone wants to see the station succeed. So, staffers are consistently putting out their best work. Managers go above and beyond what is required of them to make sure we stay on the map. Also, everyone at Radio DePaul just loves radio, music, and journalism. It’s where these passions come to thrive.

Do you work anywhere else?

I work part-time at this locally owned boutique in Lakeview called Bazar.

Wow! Between being the associate editor of 14 East and General Manager at Radio DePaul, how do you balance it all?

I actually get asked this a lot! It is kind of a process of compartmentalizing. When I’m at 14 East, I’m at 14 East, and I don’t think about anything else. Same goes for Radio DePaul – when I’m there, I’m there. Also, it requires a great deal of planning. I have a pretty organized and intricate schedule. Does not leave a lot of room for spontaneity but it keeps me going! I also map out time just for relaxing or watching TV, so I don’t go crazy.

As you finish up your last quarter at DePaul, what has been your favorite experience in college?

Probably getting a management position at Radio DePaul. I have made some of my closest friends there and it has helped shape my interest in journalism. Of course creating 14 East was amazing as well! It’s pretty much a tie between those two things.

Looking to the future, after you graduate, what is your dream job?

Becoming a podcast producer.

What advice do you have for young journalism students at DePaul?

Get involved as much as you can. The biggest mistake I see young journalism students make (and a mistake I used to make myself) is saying you can’t do something because you’re a student. Try to write for every DePaul publication. Also, get to know your professors! They are an amazing resource and just want to see you succeed. I would not be in the place I am today without the guidance of my journalism professors and faculty advisors, especially Amy Merrick, Scotty Vyverman, and Chris Bury.


Fast Facts:

Hometown: Cleveland, OH

What are you studying? Double Major in Journalism/ Media and Cinema Studies, Minor in Sound Design

Favorite movie: Howl’s Moving Castle

Favorite food: Burritos

Favorite color: Green

Favorite artist(s)/band(s): The Carolina Chocolate Drops

Favorite song at the moment: Cigarettes and Coffee by Otis Redding

Favorite quote: “All generalizations are false, including this one.” – Mark Twain

Favorite class thus far at DePaul: Feature Writing with Amy Merrick

Coke or Pepsi? Diet Coke!

Twitter or Instagram? Neither! I have both but don’t really use them. I’m about Tumblr for a healthy dose of memes.

Night in or Night out? Night in (with a pal)

Concerts or Movies? Movies

Saver or Spender? Spender  

Go to clothing piece? Oversized sweater.

You have a free night, what do you do? Play videogames.

Guilty pleasure? Pretty Little Liars…

What are you binge watching right now? The Handmaid’s Tale