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.