Discourse / Editorials / February 22, 2017

Thoughts from the Embers: Striving to be a better media source

This past weekend, the staff of TKS traveled to Chicago to participate in the Illinois College Press Association’s annual conference, which celebrates and works to better college newspapers. We attended seminars, keynote speakers and had our paper critiqued by an outside newspaper adviser. On the second day of the conference, there was an award ceremony where different publications were recognized for their work.

In the past, TKS has done rather well in the award ceremonies. In 2016, TKS took home 19 different awards. This year, TKS was recognized with 20 awards including seven first place awards, one of which was General Excellence for a non-daily newspaper at a college with under 4,000 students.

We are proud of ourselves. We believe that TKS deserves this kind of recognition and we are happy to bring these titles back to Knox. We value the work we do on this campus and we were thrilled to see that the judges saw the same value in our publication.

That being said, we do not plan on stopping here. We as a staff see where we excel, but we also see where we need to step up. There is always room for improvement and we will not stop putting our energy toward being a better media source. We will not stop working on improving TKS in all its facets. Especially in this changing political climate, we believe that we need to be a stronger voice than ever.

On a campus the size of Knox’s, stories that are published in our publication travel quickly around the student body. We receive positive and negative feedback from readers, which we fully encourage. We will not always be right and we acknowledge that.

The best way for us to improve is for our readers to tell us where we can do better. What have we missed? How could we better represent our campus? Send us tips, approach editors and give story ideas — this is your newspaper.

One way we can be a better voice for our campus is if the student body contributes. We have a Discourse section that is open to the entirety of Knox College — anyone is able to write for TKS, everyone is able to give their opinion. At ICPA, junior Sofia Tagkaloglou won first place for column writing for her column “I am sorry, Knox.” She is not on TKS’ staff, nor is she a regular contributor, but she gave her opinion and was recognized for it.

Online, Tagkaloglou’s column has gathered 123,856 page views since it was published in November, resulting in about 46 percent of our traffic for the entire year. Columns have the potential to reach far beyond the Knox campus.

Anyone has the opportunity to have their voice be recognized in this paper.

You can also contribute by writing a News, Mosaic or Sports story. If you know of something happening on this campus that you think should be in TKS and want to report on it, come to our meetings on Mondays at 5:30 p.m. in the Publications Office or send an email to tks@knox.edu. We do not require any experience and are happy to work with you on an article.

If you don’t want to write a story, you can still send us a news tip. Come to our meetings, send an email or stop by our table in Seymour Gallery on Friday evenings and drop a suggestion in our suggestion box. The truth is our staff will miss things that are happening on this campus and we can only get better at expanding our coverage with your help.

We appreciate the support Knox has given us after our weekend at ICPA, but we pledge to continue working toward something better. We will not become complacent. In today’s society, journalists are being scrutinized for the work they put out, so TKS will work to become the best reporters we can be.

TKS Editorial Board

Tags:  awards discourse icpa media source student media thoughts from the embers

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