Connor Fries: From a Cougar to a Wildcat


Jocelyn Reeder, Editor-in-Chief

Everybody knows The Arizona Daily Wildcat, but did you know the newspaper barely ever allows a freshman to write for them – except one, Connor Fries. The reason he made the cut was because he was a part of The Paper Cut. “They actually said I was over qualified because I was already an editor and had written so many articles,” he told Sahuaro’s journalism class when he visited.

Connor was qualified to write for the paper because he had the experience. For example in the journalism lecture that he has to attend, the editors gave the assignment to go interview someone. According to Connor, many people have never interviewed anyone or had little experience, but he was ahead of the game. Connor talked to the Editor-in-Chief of The Arizona Daily Wildcat, Jasmine Demers, and she explained what Connor could do to get on the news desk. He then went to an interview and showed them his articles, one being the Red For Ed,  that he wrote for The Paper Cut and they liked his style.

“The Paper Cut really gave me a way up and I came to The Wildcat with experience that a lot of people don’t have. I already had been a reporter, knew how to write articles, interview people, and knew the basics. It really helped me be more successful on The Wildcat.” When I asked Connor if writing on a college paper was challenging, he replied, “It can be, but if it is something you really like it’s not that bad. I like it! It definitely gives me a taste of what working at a big publication would be like.”

There are many differences between the two publications other than one being a high school and the other a college newspaper. The Wildcat is more professional; in The Paper Cut everyone works together no matter what section you are in charge of (sports, features, entertainment…). Instead of everyone working together, in The Wildcat, you are assigned a “desk” and only work with the other staff in your desk.  The Wildcat is much stricter with deadlines, there is always a word count, and the articles have to go through many editors before the article can be published. As a reporter, the tasks are a little different and more independent. “I recently went to the press conference about the UofA assaults and I was the only one from the paper there. I had to get an audio, quotes, and interviews. It was all on me”

The Arizona Daily Wildcat won an award this year while Connor was on it. The award that was given was The Paste Maker Award for a second year in a row. “It felt neat. It shows people really take it seriously and makes you feel a sense of importance.” Connor plans on getting into a big publication like The New York Times or The Boston Globe. His advice for future journalism reporters is, “If journalism is something you are passionate about, it can lead to great opportunities and it looks good on your resume.” He highly recommends high school students see Ms. Lange in room 207 or just sign up for Journalism as an elective when it comes time to register for next year’s classes.