Next month, Northern Illinois University’s Northern Star will induct two former Daily Herald staffers into its Alumni Hall of Fame.
They are Diane Dungey, who retired last fall as deputy editor after a 40-year career at the Daily Herald; and the late Kathleen Gosnell Seiler, a prominent Los Angeles Times editor who began her career at Paddock Publications in 1967.
Michael Korcek, president of the Northern Star Alumni Association and a Mount Prospect native, said Dungey’s starring role at the Daily Herald made her an obvious candidate for induction.
“The Daily Herald has been at the national forefront of suburban journalism for decades,” Korcek said. “The highest-ranking woman on the Herald’s masthead and one of the most influential women in Chicago journalism has been Diane Dungey.”
Meanwhile, he said editors like Gosnell Seiler are the “unsung heroes” of newspapers.
“They’re fact checkers, style masters, the newspaper’s institutional memory — all on schedule,” Korcek said. “Kathy Gosnell-Seiler was the epitome of this role.”
In his leadership role at the Daily Herald, Dungey played a key role in setting the standards for the paper’s journalism and developing coverage of many of the biggest stories of the time – the school bus tragedy 1995 at Fox River Grove, the 2008 shooting at NIU, the 1993 Brown’s Chicken murders, 9/11, various Chicago sports championships, the sale of Arlington Park, among them. But in an article published last fall in the annual section of The Newspaper Partnership, she best described her sense of belonging to the suburbs.
“Many people occupy the corners of my memories of 40 years as a journalist and editor – the heroes, the famous, the gangsters, the brave,” Dungey wrote. “Most of the time, I remember ordinary, good people sharing some of their stories with me.”
Dungey has won several reporting and writing awards over the years, but induction into the Northern Star’s Hall will have special meaning for her.
“I went to Northern Illinois University to learn journalism,” Dungey said, “but it was the Northern Star under 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 journalism in the Chicago area. I am proud and fortunate to have started my career there.
Gosnell Seiler, a DeKalb native, worked in the Herald’s copy desk during a period of growth and activity as the paper transitioned from a weekly to a bi-weekly and eventually to a daily.
She moved to California in the early 1970s and found herself in the Times copy desk, where she was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize and she rewrote the newspaper’s style book. She died in 2020 at the age of 75.
Dungey and Gosnell Seiler will be honored along with three other Northern Star alumni at a banquet Sept. 16 at DeKalb. For more information about the banquet, email [email protected]
These three people are: Marcus Leshock, WGN reporter; Jeremy Norman of ValetMag.com; and Bob Scarpelli, former President and Chief Creative Officer of DDB Worldwide.
“We are extremely proud of The Northern Star’s journalistic heritage which dates back to 1899,” said Korcek. “Our five 2022 Hall of Famers represent the best and most diverse aspects of an award-winning college newspaper. We have an editor, senior associate editor, advertising manager, webmaster and a Streamer.”