I think it is time for The Carroll News to have a real competitor.
You can judge me, but I have been to a lot of journalism conferences during my time at JCU. More importantly I have met a lot of people from other schools who want to become journalists.
JCU is unique because we don’t offer a journalism degree. We are all lumped into the communication and theater arts major. We are not specific which is a blessing and a curse. It means that we can easily translate what we’ve learned into whatever career we want to pursue. It is a curse because even though we don’t have specific majors, you can define it by the classes and extracurriculars you choose. It may be the fault of the students -I’m definitely guilty- but if students become comfortable with one medium they probably don’t push themselves to try something else.
At other schools the TV stations are merging with the newspaper and must work together to report the news in both mediums. In other cases print and broadcast compete against each other.
As far as I know, The CN has never worked with the TV station, aside from a few of our editors who also have TV shows. On at least two occasions people working for a broadcast class have come to get our newspaper articles for their reports, but we never saw the end result.
I’m leaving JCU in May and potentially entering another career all together. The communications department, now known as the Tim Russert Department of Communications, has done a lot to prepare me for the real world, even if I don’t become a journalist. However, my time with The Carroll News is what has given me the practical, problem-solving knowledge that cannot be learned in a classroom.
There are a few people who do it all (radio, television and print), but there are also many communications students who don’t do anything, at least not within the department. From what I’ve seen, the TV station probably provides good experience, but the shows are mostly just for fun.
I think the school needs to seriously consider creating a news station. This is a prime opportunity to challenge The Carroll News. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that we’re award-winning. If the challenge is too much, we could also work together.
The communication department could also consider adding a class where students would work together to produce a show during a semester. I would like to see it be news related, but ultimately it could be up to the class. If the students wanted to continue the show they could, or the next semester new students would take over.
There are a lot of resources available to us and I think we were doing well for a long time so we’ve fallen into a comfortable spot. Journalism, public relations, and other aspects of communications are changing. We need to continue to revise what we offer outside of the classroom and a little friendly competition could help. Let’s start using the TV station for slightly more credible reporting (sorry guys) and challenge The Carroll News.