The Lantern

For other uses, see The Lantern (disambiguation).
The Lantern
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Founded 1881
Headquarters Journalism Building
242 W. 18th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210
Circulation 15,000

The Lantern is the name of the official, daily student-published university newspaper at The Ohio State University. It is one of the largest campus newspapers in the United States, reaching a circulation of 15,000.

Sections of The Lantern include Campus, Sports, Arts+Entertainment and a Student Voice page managed by the editor-in-chief.

Copies of the paper are free and available on campus and throughout Columbus. Editions are published in print Monday through Friday with online-only editions published Fridays (with exceptions) and during Summer Quarter.

The Lantern received national attention in 2011 when it broke news regarding members of the school's illustrious football team selling memorabilia for money and tattoos.

History and background

The paper was chartered in 1881 and became an integral part of the School of Journalism in 1914. At one time in the past, with a circulation of 28,000 papers during the regular school year and readership of 75,000, it was the third largest college newspaper in the country.[1]

The Lantern is a laboratory paper that is put together daily by students in the newsroom of the Journalism Building. There are 14 paid student editors and assistant editors who change after completion of two academic semesters. Student reporters, most of whom contribute through the Lantern practicum class, are not paid.

The business side of the newspaper is operated by 15 full-time employees and 5-7 student account executives responsible for advertising sales.

Recent troubles

The first issue of The Lantern, published Jan. 1, 1881.

The Lantern has faced several of the same problems the rest of the newspaper industry has suffered over the past few years.

It was projected to lose more than $150,000 in 2008, according to School of Communication officials. In efforts to prevent further losses, the newspaper was forced to cut circulation down to about 15,000 and suspended the summer printing of The Lantern. Summer Quarter issues continue to be published on the paper's website.[2]

In the past few years, The Lantern has gone through several different advisers, some of whom grew discontent with the school. The current faculty adviser for The Lantern is Dan Caterinicchia, a former editor for the Associated Press.


The Lantern posts all its stories on its website. Stories are posted online-only on Fridays (apart from weeks when the football team has a home game, in which case a paper is printed on Friday) and during Summer Quarter.

In addition to the stories in print, the website includes a multimedia section for photo slide shows, videos and a weekly video webcast.[3] Sports and Arts & Life podcasts are also posted on the website.[4]

Visitors may also view print editions of the paper, made available by Issuu.[5]

The website is powered by College Media Network's College Publisher. It is routinely one of the most frequently visited websites in the network.

Stories from The Lantern's website are also made available through the online college wire service, UWIRE.

The Lantern is actively parodied by The Fake Lantern, an anonymous Twitter account and website.


In 2011, The Lantern won the "General Excellence" award from the Ohio Newspaper Association, deeming it the top collegiate newspaper in the state of Ohio. The Lantern's seven wins in the categories of editorial writing, sports coverage, headline writing, photojournalism, design, best newspaper website and news coverage combined to give the newspaper the General Excellence award.[6]

The Lantern also won "Best College Daily Newspaper" in Ohio by the Ohio chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2011, as well.[7]


In Spring 2010, a situation occurred on campus in which two cows escaped from the Veterinary Hospital, and started running loose on campus. After several vet students and faculty were trampled in attempts to wrangle the animals, the Ohio State University Police cordoned off several areas of campus, and eventually resorted to deadly force to stop the angry animals. The cows were eventually tranquilized and recaptured with assistance of staff from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.[8]

During the commotion, a student photographer from The Lantern purportedly disobeyed orders from police officers to leave the area. After claiming freedom of the press, he was arrested for the misconduct. The School of Communication protested the arrest, though the school did not provide the photographer legal aid. Many other journalism outlets took his side, and the photographer was never charged.[9]

Coverage of Tattoogate

Months after news broke that Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, as well as several other teammates, had been involved with selling memorabilia for tattoos and money, The Lantern published a story on May 25, 2011, in which former football player Ray Small admitted to also selling memorabilia for money.[10] The two reporters on the story, editor-in-chief Zack Meisel and sports reporter James Oldham, received threats from angry Ohio State fans as a result.[11] Meisel, Oldham and The Lantern received national attention for their coverage, including appearances on ESPN's Outside the Lines and in the Wall Street Journal,[12] among others.

Head football coach Jim Tressel resigned on May 31, 2011, in response to the scandal.[13]

Notable alumni


  1. Wes Boomgaarden (2012-09-19). "Text Collections - Ohio State University Libraries". Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  3. "Multimedia - The Lantern - Ohio State University". The Lantern. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  4. "Podcasts - The Lantern - Ohio State University". The Lantern. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  5. "Print Edition - The Lantern - Ohio State University". The Lantern. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  8. "Who let the cows out?! (Video) - Campus - The Lantern - Ohio State University". The Lantern. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  9. "Lantern photographer cuffed, detained - Campus - The Lantern - Ohio State University". The Lantern. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  10. "Ray Small tells all: Ex-Buckeye says he sold memorabilia, some players don't 'think about' rules - Campus - The Lantern - Ohio State University". The Lantern. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  11. "Zack Meisel did his job as a student journalist at Ohio State University and wrote a story that helped bring Jim Tressel down; now he's paying a price for it - ESPN". 2011-06-01. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  12. Karp, Hannah (2011-06-02). "With Ohio State Story, Score One for the Student Newspapers -". Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  14. Richard Oviatt, Washington Post editor Leonard Downie Jr. talks past, future, The Lantern, February 12, 2009, Accessed February 14, 2009.
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