In our last issue, The Brandeis Hoot released a survey on campus journalism and how students view our publication. We’re grateful to all who have taken the time to complete the survey, as it will help us over the summer to plan for next year.
As a newspaper made up of student-journalists, we recognize that we are not experts and have much to learn. We want to make a conscious effort this summer not to just forget about the paper, but to ensure that we can return in the fall ready to write articles important to the student experience.
By far, the most valuable part of the responses so far has been some comments detailing the way that people perceive campus media. Criticism of the paper ranges from the racial make-up of our editorial board to journalistic ethics. We take this criticism seriously and hope to have a plan laid out to ensure we can erase as much bias as possible. The goal of a campus newspaper is to inform students; however, this is only possible if the community trusts us to report the news.
While we will continue to develop our ideas throughout the summer, here are some of our preliminary changes that will be made for the 2016-2017 academic year:
– Standardize more in-depth training for new writers, working closely with editors on journalism basics and The Hoot style guide and ethics policy.
– Ensure that articles report on more than the “obvious” information, so that The Hoot can be a source of important information that cannot be found elsewhere.
– Provide comprehensive stories by using multiple sources of information.
We ask that students continue to spread awareness of the survey. The best way for us to understand student attitudes toward journalism on campus is through listening. It’s been an emotional and monumental year and simply existing on campus has not always been easy. As student-journalists, we want to ease the process, not exacerbate it. Student feedback will help us continue to improve the paper and represent the countless facets of our campus.