Discourse / Editorials / May 29, 2013

TKS: Community hub

One common thread has run through my work as a journalist thus far: community. From my various positions with TKS, to working as the weekend reporter at The Register-Mail, to interning with Patch.com, a hyperlocal news organization, I have seen what community journalism can do to foster a sense of local cohesion.

On August 5, 2012, I found myself standing in a preschool parking lot in Oak Creek, Wisc., surrounded by crying mothers, quietly concerned fathers and a gaggle of reporters clamoring for the best quote to put on the air. It was the scene of the tragic shooting at a Sikh temple across the street, an event that sparked a national media frenzy into which I was hurled. Despite how nervous I was that day, I remained confident that my colleagues and I, as representatives of the Oak Creek Patch and some of us members of that community, were most fit to report that story in advocacy of a community that had been brutally wronged.

And as TKS is a part of the Knox College community, we are poised to deliver the information most relevant to you, to act as a sounding board that will amplify your concerns and to celebrate the accomplishments of Knox students.

TKS has made great strides this year, fine-tuning its print and web platforms, providing a strong foundation for it to become an interactive hub for information and commentary within the Knox community. As editor-in-chief of TKS, I will devote my efforts to making that a reality. This year, we have institutionalized editorial policies to ensure quality control on our content. We’ve mastered the basics. Here is what’s in store for next year:

Weekly newspaper, daily website:  Who says theknoxstudent.com can’t replace cnn.com as your homepage? I want to provide a web experience that’s constantly up-to-date, providing a place to find news and events on a daily basis.

Social media presence: Journalism is no longer a one-way flow of information from the reporter to the reader. The power of social media lies in its potential as a feedback mechanism, allowing us to hear your concerns about what we’re writing — and what we should be writing.

Blogs: I hope to expand our blogging platform, allowing students to write about their interests (from neuroscience to soccer to fashion) and providing a forum for community voices. Leaders of prominent campus organizations like Student Senate will have an opportunity to discuss campus issues they are addressing.

Impact-based reporting: Every story will be crafted keeping the following question constantly in mind: “How does this impact students?” In-depth budget analyses or summaries of Student Senate floor debates are useless unless they provides concrete examples of how any changes might affect the daily experience of life as a Knox student.

None if this is possible, though, without interaction between TKS and our readers. As my predecessor often stressed, the best story ideas arise from everyday conversations about life at Knox. Our interactions in the Gizmo, around the quads, in the halls of Old Main or over a drink at Cherry Street speak to Knox’s strengths and flaws.

You know who we are, and you know where to find us. So drop us a line, write an email or send a tweet. Tell us how best to serve you.

Charlie Megenity
Charlie Megenity (formerly Gorney) is a senior double majoring in political science and economics. He previously served TKS as managing editor and as co-news editor while working as the weekend reporter for The Galesburg Register-Mail. Over the summer of 2012, Charlie interned in Wisconsin with Patch.com, an online hyperlocal news source, where he covered the August 2012 Oak Creek Sikh temple shooting; he will return to Patch during the summer of 2013. He is also the journalism editor for Catch magazine.. Charlie has received three awards from the Illinois College Press Association for newswriting and design, including a first place award for front page layout. He was the 2013 recipient of the Theodore Hazen Kimble Memorial Award in Journalism for a feature story published in The Knox Student. His work has also appeared in The Huffington Post.

Tags:  blogs Galesburg Register-Mail hyperlocal news Knox College Patch.com website

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1 Comment

May 30, 2013

Good for you! Have at it and I will enjoy watching.

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