I’ve logged more than 150 articles and 80,000 words for Dixie Sun News in seven semesters; however, another stat is on my mind as my time at DSN ends: one — the number of times I gave up student journalism.
Frustrated with how journalism’s reality — scary interviews and quick deadlines — differed from common misconceptions, I quit DSN in winter 2012 after one semester on staff. Doing so meant avoiding the stress and conflict journalists on all levels face with every assignment, but my departure also prevented me from serving fellow Dixie State University students by covering the stories they care about.
So I came back.
Since returning, I’ve reported on campus happenings that appeal to me: DSU Student Association elections and students accomplishing great things stand out. Other times, my assignments meant nothing to me personally. (True Rebel Night and anything on campus that includes a “D” pun, anyone?)
But I’m a journalist, so regardless of my opinions, I’ve remained objective and sacrificed my personal life, time and, every now and then, sanity to get you — DSN’s readers — the story.
Here’s the best part: I’m not the only one.
I graduate at the semester’s end, but others who strive to make DSN the true “Voice of Dixie” remain.
In particular, next year’s editor-in-chief, News Editor Emily Havens, devotes her time at DSN to uncovering campus headlines the DSU community must know about. Leaving my position at the news organization I love upsets me, but knowing that Havens’ organization, work ethic and passion for student journalism will expand on DSN’s accomplishments makes the transition easier.
For Havens and next year’s staff to give you the news you deserve, however, they need the cooperation and credit they deserve.
Students should put pressure on university administration and student leaders to speak to student reporters even when they’re on the defensive. For the Sun’s staffers to serve the DSU community like they hope, that same community must demand those who hold power on campus cooperate the media in both good and bad circumstances.
It might seem silly, but that whole giving credit part is important too.
At DSN, we’re not asking for an appreciation plaque or backstage passes whenever disc jockey Marcus Wing comes to DSU again (very soon, I’m sure,) but letting us know what we’re doing right is often as beneficial as pointing out our mistakes, something people show less hesitancy in doing.
So support student journalism at DSU by demanding transparency, giving DSN feedback and picking up the Sun’s weekly print edition and visiting DixieSunNews.com. I have great aspirations post-grad, but fulfilling the duties of a student journalist will always stand out.