Editorial: State of the Paper: It’s time for everyone to do their part to save student newsrooms

Over the past few years, the Free Press has regularly struggled to make ends meet. It’s been easy to think that it’s just us, that we must be doing something wrong, that it’s just because students won’t rally around saving their student paper at a commuter campus.

But it isn’t just the Free Press. Far from it.

Read the rest of The Scarlet and Gray’s editorial here

Editorial: College Newspapers Are Dying, Let’s Save Them

Today, we’re having a conversation about journalism — a craft, a career path, an industry that is currently hemorrhaging before our eyes and at our mercy. Changes in the way media is disseminated, digested and financed are affecting newsrooms across the country, and despite a lack of attention thus far, college newsrooms are not exempt from these widespread threats.

Read the Washington Square News’ editorial here

From Alan Hovorka: ‘Without their independence guaranteed, our democracy will be worse off.’

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Name: Alan Hovorka

College publication: The Ball State Daily News (Muncie, Indiana)

Where I am now: Watchdog Reporter at Stevens Point Journal/USA TODAY Network-Wisconsin

Independent student newsrooms act not only as a voice for students but also as a critical proving ground for this country’s next generation of journalists. I know because I was one.

My time as a member of The Ball State Daily News set me up for the career I have now. It gave me invaluable experience in dealing with public officials who were recalcitrant in upholding their duties to provide public information. One of the times this fight manifested was when the university fired a widely popular president and refused to disclose the reason for his firing even though they gave him a hefty severance package.

Student newsrooms exist, in part, to allow young journalists to learn and make mistakes and to get good at demanding and asserting the public’s right to know. Without their independence guaranteed, our democracy will be worse off.

From Adam Lichtenstein: I wouldn’t be who I am today without The Alligator

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Name: Adam Lichtenstein

College publication: The Independent Florida Alligator (Gainesville, Florida)

Where I am now: Sports Reporter at Palm Beach Post

I didn’t get to college dreaming of being a journalist. I wanted to work for a sports team in some capacity. I had worked on my high school newspaper, mostly to bolster my college resume. But after half a semester at the University of Florida, I realized I missed writing and that I really didn’t have a career path in sports. So I figured I’d give journalism a shot.

After a couple semesters in the journalism program, I basically idolized The Alligator. The writers, particularly in the sports section, were insightful, witty and, most of all, really good. After a few tries, I was hired onto the staff. I spent my last two years of college working for the paper, and they were an amazing two years. I wouldn’t be the person I am today, and I certainly wouldn’t be the journalist I am, without The Alligator.

Editorial: You need us, student media’s vital role in the life of a university

“Don’t get in the professionals’ way.”

That was a statement said to Cory Hancock, then-photo editor for The Sentinel, by a press manager for the Trump-Pence campaign in September 2016 right before a press conference with Newt Gingrich.

Hancock and then-staff-writer Madeline McGee did not get in the professionals’ way, and, in fact, took the feature photo for the story and participated in questioning the former speaker of the house just as everyone else did.

Read the rest of The Sentinel’s editorial here 

From Kevin Huynh: My student newsroom gave me amazing opportunities

Name: Kevin Huynh

College publication: Sparks Magazine UF

Where I am now: Fashion Assistant at the Wall Street Journal/WSJ Magazine

My time as the Style Director at Sparks Magazine, a role I pitched and created for myself, really allowed me to both see my creativity into fruition but also gave me an amazing opportunity to work with others as well. The student newsroom is an environment that allows individuals to truly express themselves and gain invaluable experiences with their peers. Those who are willing to put in the work at a student magazine/newsroom are the same people who make strides in their career goals. I was able to use my previous internship experience and position at Sparks magazine to get my foot in the door of the fashion industry. First as an freelancer with the Senior Editor-at-Large of Glamour, then as the Accessories Assistant at Interview and finally as the Fashion Assistant at the Wall Street Journal.

From Colleen Wright: ‘There’s nothing like producing professional work with your best friends’

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Name: Colleen Wright

College publication: The Independent Florida Alligator (Gainesville, Florida)

Where I am now: Education Reporter at the Miami Herald

I credit my time at the Independent Florida Alligator as not only a springboard to four internships and a job offer in college, but also as the cornerstone of my entire college experience. I grew as a journalist and as a person in my three years at the Alligator. In addition to providing real-world opportunities at the student level, it gave me a social scene and a support group. I’ve made friends for life at the paper. There’s nothing like producing professional work with your best friends five nights a week. Student newspapers are the real college journalism learning experience, ones that employers look to for real-world and leadership skills. They are the biggest asset to budding journalists everywhere. #savestudentnewspapers!