The Origins of The Stork

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The Stork holds a monumental role in IE campus life – allowing both students in Madrid and Segovia to engage in global and local news, express their interests and knowledge, whilst informing and entertaining the community. 

 But it wasn’t always like this, and the journey to get here was far from easy. 

Courtesy of Volodymyr Lakamov

We have Volodymyr (or Vova) Lakamov to thank! He is an IE Alumnus, who studied Business Administration and International Relations in both Segovia and Madrid. He was inspired by an internship in Namibia in 2018, during his 3rd year, where he spent his summer as an investigative journalist, covering socio-economic and political issues in this new country.

 “I fell in love with journalism. At that point, I realized that I wanted to continue to pursue this passion.”

It was this epiphany that sparked the beginning. After returning to IE, Vova realized there were very few opportunities to continue growing his interest in journalism. And so, the idea began to start a new project – an investigative newspaper at IE. 

The real journey thus began. Vova recalls talking to the Campus Life administration who doubted his pitch, claiming that a prior attempt at creating a newspaper had been unsuccessful. Despite the negative response and lack of cooperation, Vova didn’t give up. Quite the contrary – he found it motivating. 

“Simply put, it felt rebellious, mischievous and an idea against all odds.” 

The next step – building a team and writing stories! The first edition included the genres we are all familiar with: News, Spanish, Lifestyle, and Opinion. The News section focused on investigative journalism, – looking into existing issues in the IE community, such as the impact of IE students in the local community in an article titled “IE Students Go Home”. The newspaper also included a Spanish section, targeted at students at IE’s Spanish-only degrees (which now no longer exist). Lifestyle commented on the cultural, social, and athletic aspects of student life, while the Opinion section created a platform for students to address international issues and events within their own communities. 

The Stork gave (and continues to give) students a voice. It even attracted the student office and administration, who regularly asked for the sources and students responsible for certain releases. Vova recalls those moments: 

“Despite the pressure, we felt the support from the community and decided to defy the university’s reprimands to be sanctioned by the higher members of the administration.”

Perhaps one of the most interesting things about The Stork is its name. Although many other names were considered – including ‘The Unicorn’ [IE’s crest at the time was a horse and tree, which resembled a unicorn], none seemed to be the right fit. 

One day, while walking to the Segovia Campus, Vova saw a nest of storks. He decided to add it to an ongoing poll on IE’s social media dedicated to choosing the name of the paper. ‘The Stork’ won by a vast majority.  

Image courtesy of Groenling, Flickr
Image courtesy of The Stork

The Stork plays a more functional role in the community than most would expect. Its purpose is not only to entertain and inform but to give the student body a voice and generate a loop of feedback to improve our environment, while also creating opportunities for those interested in journalism. 

“Any sort of newspaper is an instrument that keeps institutions accountable to the community’s expectations,” says Vova.

The representation and amplification of the voice in our community continues to be The Stork’s main mission. Making sure to highlight the experiences of students, staff, and alumni; The Stork is working on collaborating with clubs and other university organizations to keep readers informed on campus events while also encouraging the community to appreciate student talent by displaying photograph and illustrations done by the photo and art clubs. 

As The Stork continues to grow, it establishes itself as a fundamental part of student life, allowing for students in Madrid and Segovia to freely express their ideas and concerns, while also informing other members of the community. 

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