A newly launched satirical newspaper entitled The Toad has been sparking conversation all around campus in recent days. The “news” source, featuring such stories as “Pregnancy Rates Among Ferris Students Through the Roof” and “Valentine’s Day Present Backfires” is run by Kip Biby, a sophomore psychology major. Biby sat down with the Torch for an exclusive interview to discuss his new comedic enterprise.
The Torch: How did you get the idea to start The Toad? Did you draw inspiration from any other satirical newspapers?
Biby: I’ve had the idea since I’ve been at Ferris. I wanted to be a Torch writer initially, but I really prefer satire. There is a group at Baylor University called The NoZe Brotherhood that writes a satirical newspaper. That’s where I drew the most inspiration.
The Torch: What is it about satire that appeals to you?
Biby: Sometimes it helps to not take issues so seriously. Satire helps to do that.
The Torch: “What is your “mission” in running this paper?
Biby: I want it to be something that students and staff at Ferris are excited to read. I want The Toad to be something people talk about and enjoy and I want the name to go hand in hand with Ferris. And the paper itself just needs to be hilarious.
The Torch: Are you currently the only person behind The Toad or are there multiple writers?
Biby: I write the articles, but people sometimes help me with the ideas. I had a guest writer for the Valentine’s Day for women article.
The Torch: Are you planning to run The Toad on your own or do you hope to eventually have multiple people writing and updating the webpage?
Biby: Well, I’m looking for people, especially someone who is handy with a camera. But I do want people to write with me.
The Torch: What kinds of people or qualities are you looking for?
Biby: Funny people.
The Torch: You mentioned you had a guest writer for one of the two Valentine Tips articles. What was the story behind that?
Biby: I’m not qualified to give tips to women about Valentine’s Day. But I can’t say who the guest was. The idea for the article was mine, but the content was not.
The Torch: How do you get the ideas for your articles?
Biby: Things people are talking about on campus.
The Torch: What is your favorite thing about managing The Toad so far?
Biby: The writing is fun and having a creative platform.
The Torch: What are some of the challenges in managing the newspaper on your own?
Biby: I love writing the articles and I don’t really do it on a schedule. I just write when I have an idea, so on that front it’s not so bad. But one challenge I have is getting a large following.
The Torch: What kinds of tactics are you using to spread the word about The Toad?
Biby: Well, I have a Twitter and a Facebook, I have a pretty good circle of friends who support it and I have been basically just spreading it by talking with people. But I hope to pass out some literature.
The Torch: With your Weekly Advice Column, were the questions real submissions from readers? How can readers send you their questions?
Biby: [They were] fake questions.
The Torch: Are you planning to continue having that every week?
The Torch: Do you have a favorite story or stories that you’ve featured so far? And do you have any plans for future stories?
Biby: Yeah, I have plans for future stories. I don’t want to give them away, but the “Condom Cannon” has been my favorite.
The Torch: Alright, is there anything else you would like to add?
Biby: The Twitter is @FerrisStateToad and I’d like to add that the official mascot of The Toad is Aspen the Cat.
Students can read The Toad at http://ferrisstatetoad.blogspot.com. Anyone interested in photography or writing for The Toad is invited to contact Biby at firstname.lastname@example.org.