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University newspapers continue to disappear with the main culprit being the digital media. Students now get their news from the internet. Furthermore, activities like social media are also taking much of their free time.
Another reason is that many hesitate to keep up with the times. They hesitate to become a digital publication, which is preferable to students. For one, this allows students to access and digest the news better.
Lack of funding is also a major cause. After all, you need money to print the newspaper or to maintain a university news website.
Still, there’s no good reason to shut down a university newspaper. Here 10 good reasons why universities (and other schools) need a newspaper.
It Recreates a Real-Life Workplace
The university newspaper is one of the few school activities that are an accurate representation of the work environment. There are deadlines to keep, work ethics to follow, and roles to distribute. Students learn how to be a team and how to lead under constant pressure.
Writing here is different than writing for an assignment. A newspaper writer doesn’t turn in a piece for grading. Rather, he/she turns it in for publishing, after which hundreds of people can read it.
Their priorities change. They must now think of their responsibility to the readers and not only to the professor.
For would-be journalists, these are special skills they can only gain through experience. Even those who won’t be journalists can carry on these skills into their career of choice.
It Teaches Accountability
As we said before, hundreds – or even thousands – of other people get to read the pieces that the students write. They must be fair in reporting issues and incidents. They must also hold themselves accountable for any errors they commit.
This is one of the 5 principles of ethical journalism. This is also one of the most useful skills to learn for anyone going into the workforce.
It not only teaches accountability to the team behind the college newspaper, though. It also holds the whole university accountable for its actions.
Any wrongdoings discovered will come up on the newspaper. It doesn’t matter if it’s by the administration, teachers, or the students themselves.
That makes the university paper a watchdog for the whole community. They can also clear up misunderstandings and rumors to keep the students well-informed.
It Appreciates the Efforts of the Student Body
The newspaper doesn’t only publish problems in the university, though, it also tells the good news. It’s a form of appreciation for the achievements of the university and the students within it.
The newspaper can congratulate those who participated in sports, contests, and more. It can also publish a list of the honor roll and those who got scholarships.
Because of this, other students can also learn about the achievements of their peers. They may get encouraged to do better, not to appear in the newspaper but to make the university proud of them, as well.
It can also increase the attendance in the programs mentioned in the newspaper. It can introduce unknown programs to students who might have an interest in joining.
It Teaches Values and Ethics
Working for a newspaper is a sort of training for the real world. It teaches the right attitude you need in your daily life, such as owning up to mistakes and learning from them. It teaches the students that they’re on their own for the most part, but they have a team to lean on if things get hard.
They develop professionalism and the right mindset for dealing with pressure and accountability. They learn how to be fair, as well, since their work has a chance of affecting someone’s lives.
It Gives Students a Voice
Representation is important, especially today wherein a single voice can drown amongst the sea of voices in social media. School newspapers give students that – a chance to express their opinion and ideas.
Doing this, students can participate in the discussion of social issues. They can leave their position as only a spectator from the sidelines.
It’s important for the youth to feel that their voice matters in all issues. This is true for small ones and especially for politics and other national issues. They also have a chance to give visibility to issues that might otherwise go unnoticed by the adults.
They can then hone their skills in critical thinking further. They’ll know they must be creative in expressing their voices and must be impartial.
It Gives Empowerment and Validation
What happens when you give someone a voice? That’s right, they’ll feel empowered and validated – a feeling they might not get otherwise. After all, it’s not easy to be popular when you’re not in the football team or the best party-thrower around.
The school newspaper empowers those with a different skill set and allows them to reach out to their peers. The student body can then acknowledge them and listen to what they have to say with more intent.
It also prevents the students from the feeling of alienation and disempowerment. Students will know they’ll have an outlet where others can listen to them. By letting vulnerable students feel empowered, we can prevent them from dropping out of school or avoid increasing suicide rates.
It Can be a Means of Fundraising
This is especially important for schools with a lack of funding. Rather than dissolving the newspaper club due to budget issues, they can make it a way to gather funding. They can reach out to local businesses and sell newspaper ads or work out other deals.
It’s the students who will do most of the work with this. As a result, the students will learn how to reach out to other people, as well. This is an important skill to practice for those in the marketing field.
It’s also a huge advantage for the local businesses, like bakeries and pest control services. This gives them a chance to reach out to the students and to the local community.
The biggest advantage of this, however, is that the newspaper club can fund themselves to get their paper published and printed. If they do well enough, they might not even need the support of the school. A plus is that it can announce other fundraising activities for their club or for the school itself.
It Can Have a Greater Impact on the Student Population
Bigger publications may have better means to report on an issue. However, the writers who can best send a message to the students are students themselves. After all, students know all too well about adults often make hasty sweeping generalizations and complain about perceived fads that may not exist.
With a university newspaper, the writer will not base their facts and opinion on perception but rather on experience. This has a higher chance to impact the readers on a meaningful level. This is because the writer’s experience and the reader’s experience are similar.
Furthermore, it can better report on specific issues with the university. Examples of issues that need to come to light are sexual assault cases and housing development issues. Although other publications can cover this, the student newspaper can provide more insight.
It can better spread awareness as the readers are more attached. This allows them to face the issue with a common goal: to improve their university experience.
It Can Spur Discussions Among Students and Professors
Since university newspapers focus more on the happenings inside the institution, this gives the students something common to talk about. It can encourage discussions and allow them to further develop their relationships.
For example, students can bond with their friends on the news they’ve learned from the newspaper. If their team wins, they can celebrate together. They can also ask their professors about certain issues and what they think about them.
It Can Enact Change
When enough students get to talking about a certain issue, this may lead something to change.
For example, the newspaper highlights the occurrence of assaults in the university. This can inspire students to be more careful and to report any incidents. This can also obligate the administration to enact rules to keep the grounds safer.
It can also change the mindset and attitude of the students on an issue. They may not know much about the issue to form an educated opinion. If the newspaper covers it, though, it allows the readers to form better opinions based on the facts given.
For instance, they may not feel like cyberbullying is not much of an issue. However, if you tell them the prevalence of it within the university and how it hurts the victims, they may get the inspiration to do act against it.
University Newspapers Are Beneficial for Everybody
In summary, university newspapers help not only the team, but the whole student body, too.
It’s not only important for students to have a voice. It’s also important for them to get acquainted with a lot of subjects.
This is where we drop in! Feel free to read our other guides to discover more important tips and stay updated. We have guides and lists about the latest TV show to national issues like unpaid internships.