For anyone else, it’s the Monday of finals week. Some of us are cursed with 7:30 a.m. exams, others are unfortunate enough to have a Friday test, and still others have an array of exams in between. This is the end of the semester, with frantic study sessions and an intake of way too much caffeine.
For anyone else, this is all they have to worry about before the blissful freedom of summer. For members of student media, there was one more paper to publish. On top of tests and projects, student journalists work all year to tell the CSU community campus news, opinion, sports and entertainment stories.
It’s called student media for a few reasons. First, we are students as well as young journalists, so we are not immune to classwork and have due dates like everyone else.
Second, as students, we learn about media in an educational laboratory called the Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation. Our experiments are called CTV, the Collegian, KCSU, advertising, creative services, and content marketing. It gives us a taste of life after college, where we only have to worry about writing articles, designing ads and papers, shooting and editing video, taking photos and running a radio show.
Yet, these are exactly what we’re trying to do, sometimes at the same time, and definitely while still working as students. Student media has always encouraged me, and others, to strive for great work and to practice writing, photography and video.
As members of student media, we are free to “take chances, make mistakes and get messy,” as famous science teacher Ms. Frizzle once said. The latest chance we’re taking is a big one, but one I am more excited for than anything I’ve done here (and I’ve officially worked here for almost three years).
It’s called “convergence,” but it’s what I’d like to call “becoming one big, happy family.” Everything is changing. The CTV, the Collegian, the College Avenue and the collegian.com you knew before are going to look quite different next year. Instead of separate endeavors, our newspaper, TV shows and magazine are merging into one newsroom. All people — “print” people, “TV” people, “magazine” people— are no longer members of separate pieces of student media.
This next year, everyone will work together to publish stories online before we do anything else. This change involves a new workflow and a lot of education and a great amount of work, but it is absolutely worth it.
If you walk on campus every day of the week, you’ll see a smart phone strapped to nearly every hand, laptops open in most classes and tablets next to people as they study. We want to be there, too, providing CSU with news, sports, entertainment and opinion articles and videos right at your fingertips.
The student media website, collegian.com, just launched a new design that should be more fun and functional than ever. Next year, we want to fill that site with stories, videos, photos and audio that tell the tales of the Colorado State University campus.
You’ll still be able to find the Collegian in the racks around campus and can watch CTV on local channel 11. Although our latest concoction catered to the campus community will change student media, it is for the better. Our student reporters will learn to write, to take photos, to shoot video, to record audio and to become better journalists in the process. The CSU community will get its campus coverage online, on TV and in print. Everyone can learn and benefit from this new experiment.
After finals and after summer, we’ll return, ready to unleash a new way of working in student media and providing endless opportunities for experimentation.
Collegian Executive Editor Kate Winkle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.